Belarus News

  • New Religious Restrictions Pass into Law
    President Aleksandr Lukashenko
    President Aleksandr Lukashenko
    Photo: Wikipedia / (cc)

    On December 30th, President Aleksandr Lukashenko officially passed into law new religious regulations, finalizing a bill that had initially been introduced in September 2023. For more details, see this page. The policies are scheduled to take effect on July 5th and, while the legislation carries various new stipulations, the most significant is the requirement that all religious communities must re-register within one year of the law coming into effect.

  • Officials Issue Threats to Church Leaders
    Saint Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Baranovichi city.
    An Orthodox church in Belarus.
    Photo: Wikimedia / Horakvlado (cc)

    On December 20th, a meeting was held for the Minsk Orthodox Diocese. During the gathering, which consisted of more than two hundred priests, Olga Chemodanova from the Ideology Department of the Minsk Executive Committee was invited to speak. She told those present that state agencies were monitoring more than 500 religious communities and openly warned against committing any act that could potentially be perceived as being political in nature, including the use of "non-religious symbols." Her address clearly threatened any church leaders who may be considered "ideologically alien," further indicating that such leaders should expect to serve time in prison.

  • Church Appeals Liquidation Orders
    A building is only partially standing, with the rest in rubbles.
    Destruction of the New Life Church building.
    Photo: New Life Church

    On October 6th, the court proceedings to determine the future of the New Life Church in Minsk, Belarus, officially began. After years of harassment by various government departments, legal action was taken to liquidate the church organization. For more details on this troubling situation, go to this page.

  • Revised Religion Law Passes First Reading
    The House of Government in Minsk
    House of Government in Minsk
    Photo: Wikipedia / Suicasmo (cc)

    A new religion law, which was introduced to Belarus' House of Representatives on September 29th, passed its first reading on October 11th. The text of the draft law was only made public on October 10th. While some aspects of the previous version of the law will remain the same, the new legislation would impose significantly tighter restrictions on the country's Christians if approved.