Minsk prosecutor's office accused New Life Pentecostal church of inciting political hatred. Authorities recently ordered to bulldoze the church building.
Minsk City Prosecutor's Office suspended the website of the Belarusian New Life Pentecostal church for six months, accusing it of undermining state security and inciting political hatred, reported Christian portal inVictory.
"This morning we found that our church website was not working. A little later, we received a letter from the prosecutor's office, stating that the activity of our website was restricted", wrote the pastor of the church, Vyacheslav Goncharenko, in the Telegram channel of the church, according to CNE News.
According to the prosecutor's office, after a preliminary assessment, the information of the New Life church website contained extremist information, so that it now intends to find out if the information on the site constitutes a crime.
Furthermore, the Housing and Economic Development Department of the Moskovsky district also sent them a letter, with a fine of 460,000 Belarusian rubles (around 167,000 euros) for using the church's land for worship without the permission of the authorities.
The pastor urged "all of you to pray for this situation so that all evil designs against the church will not take place. Pray for all the ministers and volunteers who are responsible. May God's peace, His protection and favour be with us all".
The New Life Pentecostal church has its Sunday worship services in the parking lot since June, when the Minsk City Executive Committee ordered to bulldoze it building.
Evangelical Focus interviewed Pastor Goncahrenko in June 2021, and he then lamented that “the state suppresses everything they identify as an enemy”.
The regime has since 2002 repeatedly denied New Life Church's requests for permission to change the official designation of the former cowshed it bought that year into a place of worship.