Posted by: becketfund | December 17, 2007

Belarus: “To pray to God they must have a registered place of worship”

Forum 18 reports that a Baptist pastor, Dmitry Osyko, received a fine of two weeks’ average wages from the Belarusian government for leading a service in a private home, before an unregistered community. (The owners of the home also received fines of more than one month’s wages). Members of the congregation believe that their right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed by the Belarusian constitution, and refuse to seek registration, but officials in Baranovichi said that “to pray to God they must have a registered place of worship.” Local ideology officials raided the service, saying that private homes could not serve as places of worship.

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