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New Life Full Gospel Church Minsk, Belarus


Former Soviet Republic, gained independence in 1991 ... Long and painful past (constant wars; every 4th died during WWII) and ... Protestants are a Sect = Cult ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: New Life Full Gospel Church Minsk, Belarus

New Life Full Gospel Church Minsk, Belarus
(No Transcript)
  • Former Soviet Republic, gained independence in
  • Area 80,134 sq miles (207,600 sq km)
    Population 9.7 mln
  • Long and painful past (constant wars every 4th
    died during WWII) and hard reality (Chernobyl)
  • Average Life Expectancy M - 56-57 yrs,
  • F - 61-62 (48 of men die before pension)
  • 3rd place in Europe in abortion
  • 1st place in Europe in divorce rate
  • Average monthly salary - 150 250
  • (30 of the population live below poverty
  • line)
  • 33,000 institutionalised orphans

Church Under Communism
  • No home churches allowed neighbours spying for
  • Illegal services, heavy fines and imprisonment
  • Children could be taken away to be free from
    anti-Soviet propaganda
  • Baptisms and other rites were done secretly
  • Bibles, Psalm books, religious literature was
    hand copied
  • Prohibition of any forms of social activity,
    including charity
  • No access to Universities or highly paid jobs
    Christians were considered 2nd class citizens
  • Libelling in media Protestants are swindlers,
    involved in some shady business funded by the
    West, or spying for CIA, and have human
  • Baptist or Pentecostal swear words

Church in Post-Communism Era
  • Since 1990, the number of Protestant
    congregations, registered and unregistered, has
    more than doubled
  • Officially Registered Religious Communities in
    Belarus Orthodox 1351 Roman Catholic 439
    Protestant 966 Muslim 27 Jewish 24.
  • In Belarus, there are more than 100,000
    Evangelical Christians

New Life Church
  • began in 1991 from a group of young people from
    an underground Pentecostal church (pastors
    father had been imprisoned for his faith)

Small beginnings
  • The official birth of the church is June 17,
    1992 - the first water baptism and first
    communion. By the end of 1992 the church had 300

New Life Now
  • has more than 1000 adults and over 300 children
  • has 10 branch churches all over Belarus and
    beyond with total number of 300 members
  • has 30 various ministries,
  • inc. orphans, prison, etc.
  • The Senior Pastor is
  • Slava Goncharenko

Current Government Views
  • "I want the Orthodox Church to be an institution
    of our state and one of its main supporters."
  • "Some members of the opposition, instigated by
    foreign minions, make provocative suggestions
    about narrowing the sphere of activities of
    traditional religions, primarily the Orthodox
    Church, for the benefit of various sects and
    religions that are nontraditional in this
  • President Lukashenko (professing Orthodox
  • October 2004

Protestants are a Sect Cult
  • Publications of anti-Protestant articles, anti-
    sectarian programmes on TV, Belarusian Orthodox
    Church sells anti-Catholic and Anti-Semitic
  • The Ministry of Education uses the textbook "Man,
    Society, and State," which labels Protestants as
    "sects". They claim the word "sect" is a
    "scientific" word, and therefore it does not
    label Protestants as antisocial.

Present Laws on Religion
  • The Constitution of Belarus declares the equality
    of all religions. However, the current special
    legislation is predominately oriented towards
    Orthodoxy. Protestant churches are not taken into
    account at all.
  • No church can rent a public auditorium without
    the governments consent.
  • To pray, take communion or read the Bible in
    private homes a group of people more than 3 (i.e.
    home groups, your own family) must require prior
    permission from local authorities.
  • No church can have a service in its own building
    without obtaining a prior permission (New Life
    Churchs case).
  • No church can have any activity in another town
    or village (i.e. churches activities are
    restricted only to the place where they are

Present Laws on Religion (cont.)
  • Meetings without prior written permission are
    only allowed at crematories, graveyards,
    pilgrimage sites and officially authorised church
    buildings by the state.
  • Street evangelism is illegal without an obtained
    permission in each case.
  • It is practically impossible to register a new
    church, thus making it illegal from the very
    start. A new church must have over 20 people and
    have a special public auditorium building for it
    to be registered (i.e. registration impossible
    for village churches).
  • Being a part of unregistered church leadership is
    penalized by up to 2 years of imprisonment.
  • A Church can be closed if it is given 2 warnings
    by the state in 12 months.
  • Any violation of these laws is seriously punished
  • (For the last 12 months 4 churches have been
    closed. Pastors and leaders of various
    denominations are being fined and imprisoned)

  • New Life Church in Minsk, a member of the
    Union of Full Gospel Churches, might be
    forcefully closed because authorities refuse to
    register the congregation at the cow barn it owns
    and wishes to use as a place of worship. New Life
    Church, known as the "cowshed church," bought the
    barn and its surrounding property three years
    ago. The church began to meet there after denied
    permission to rent anywhere else. Local
    authorities, however, refuse to allow New Life to
    convert the building, change how the cowshed is
    registered, or allow the church to meet in the
    building as is. Therefore, New Life Church has no
    place to worship and no place to register, making
    all church activities illegal. New Life's pastor
    and other leaders have received large fines for
    holding illegal services, technically for
    violating laws on assembly. At the same time,
    authorities permit a Belarusian Orthodox Church
    community to meet without disturbance in a
    converted railcar less than a mile away.
  • (International Religious Freedom Report 2006
    by US Dept of State, http//

New Life is searching for a place to meet (1999
  • Due to restrictions in legislation, we were
    forced to leave the building we were renting and
    try to have services in any public auditorium we
    could find,

  • in car parks and woods,

  • anywhere in the city (near an attraction park,

  • Then when we couldnt have church on our own, we
    joined with other churches and held open air
    monthly prayer meetings called We Are Praying,
    And It Will Get Better till we couldnt do it
    any longer.

  • We were determined not to give up whatever the

  • One never knew when and where they would be next
  • But finally we had to accept we needed a place to
    have church. So we bought an ex-cow barn. The
    authorities knew we were going to build a church

  • The building was in such poor state we couldnt
    use it. We started negotiations with authorities
    regarding getting permission to build a church on
    the site of the cow barn. The permission has not
    been granted and the church had to renovate the
    old cow barn. Meanwhile, we had a temporary (14
    months) home on our property, till a hurricane
    torn it to pieces.

  • After that, the only place where we could gather,
    was the old cow barn

  • We started gathering there and renovating the
    building by faith. See where it brought us to

New Life Case
  • The authorities have denied the church the right
    to have services in its own building and refused
    to authorise the usage of the ex-cow barn as a
    church building. An official who issued the
    permission at one point, was fired. The church
    was given six warnings for holding unsanctioned
    religious services (2 are enough for the church
    to be closed). New Life has had regular visits
    from sanitary inspectors, fire service, police
    and even SWAT teams trying to stop illegal
  • Finally, in August 2005 the Mayors Office of
    Minsk passed a verdict, forcing the church to
    sell its building due to inappropriate usage
    for 17,000 (not enough to buy a 1-room flat in
  • The church appealed to all Courts,
  • including the Supreme Economic Court,
    and the President, but to no avail
  • Police at New Life service

  • The church was sold the cow barn by Minsk Region
    Committee. The city spread, and in a years time
    after its sale the building came under the
    jurisdiction of the Minsk Executive Council, with
    the price of the land raising sufficiently. The
    authorities claimed they needed this land to
    build a school and a day care centre.
  • However, as it became clear, the real purpose for
    their claiming back this land (worth of 800,000
    according to recent estimates) was to sell it to
    private hands for the construction of individual
  • The authorities fail to
  • explain what law
  • the church broke.
  • The church building and nearby houses
  • under construction

Present Situation
  • The authorities threaten to transfer 17,000 to
    New Lifes account this week. If it happens, in
    10 days after that we will be forced to leave the
    building. As we consider all the acts of the
    government in regards to our building unlawful,
    we are not going to agree with that and volunteer
    to give it back. The authorities may try to take
    it back by force. Our only hope in this situation
    is on the Lord.

How can you help?
  • Please pray updates on the churchs website at
  • Please forward this presentation to people you
    know or to your MP/Senator. If you know people in
    Mass Media, we would appreciate if you would let
    them know as well.
  • Write a letter or get your home group/your church
    to write a letter signed by many people in
    support of New Life. It can me mailed to
    Administration of the President of the Republic
    of Belarus, 38, K. Marx St., 220016, Minsk,
    Belarus. Please e-mail a copy of your letter to
    us at Thank you so much!
  • Your voice can REALLY make a difference!
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