December 13, 2018

Belarusian Baptists Bashed

Baptists in Belarus face both government and religious efforts to limit their evangelistic efforts.

The head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church on Nov. 24 said Baptists were "sectarians" and not Christians. Calling them "annoying" and "scary," he added, "they are like Roma - they preach until they rob a person." Leanid Mikhovich, a leader of the Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Belarus, called the comments "unacceptable, especially from a person holding such a high position." He urged "tolerance and benevolence towards people of all nationalities and believers of different faiths."

Meanwhile, persecution continues for Baptists, especially since many churches refuse to register officially with the government. Forum 18 reports that on Oct. 27, a Baptist husband and wife singing Christian songs and passing out Christian literature outside a market in Lepel were detained and fined - much as the same couple had been a year earlier. They were each given a fine equivalent to about one month’s average salary for the area. They were arrested for allegedly "organising or conducting a mass event or demonstration," even though it was just the couple involved. A judge convicted them three days later.

According to the Baptist World Alliance, there are about 280 churches and more than 12,000 Baptists in Belarus. May we remember the Belrusian Baptists in our prayers.

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