Pastor arrested second time for 3 days in Belarus
Republic of Belarus, SVM News, June 5, 2007: Antony Bokun, the pastor of the John the Baptist's Church in Dauginausky Trakt in Minsk was sentenced by the Central District Court to 3 days' arrest.
Pastor Antony Bokun was detained in his apartment when he was conducting worship service. He was brought to the militia department of the Central District of Minsk.
John the Baptist's Church is a Protestant Church, associated with United Church of Christians of the Evangelic Belief.
The law enforcement body participants declared that Antony Bokun conducted a religious service in his house on Sunday without special sanctions. It is to be mentioned that for the same reason he was detained 27 May. Then he was brought to the prison in Okrestina Street where he was kept until the trial. 28 May the Central District Court penalized the amount to the amount of $290 USDollars for the unsanctioned religious service.
"A police squad entered the house during what they described as an "unauthorized" religious service and arrested Pastor Bokun. The minister was brought to the Tsentralny district police department and then taken to the detention center on Akrestsina Street, where he was expected to spend the night. He is likely to stand trial on a charge of organizing and conducting a religious meeting with permission on Monday", lawyer Syarhey Lukanin said to the Salem Voice Ministries (SVM) News Service.
"Given pastor Antony Bokun's second arrest within a week and the fact that police officers were recording the license plate numbers of the cars entering the territory of New Life Church of Belarus' Association of Full Gospel Christians on the morning of June 3, one may say that the authorities have declared an open war on Protestants," Mr. Lukanin added.
Members of all Minsk-based congregations affiliated with the Association of Full Gospel Christians were scheduled to gather in a church on Sunday to pray for the democratization of the country's religion law.
A co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy and an applicant for holding a rally Alyaksei Shein has received a refusal of Minsk city executive committee for holding a picket in defense of freedom of worship. The protest was to take place on June 8 in Bangalore Square in Minsk.
SALEM VOICE MINISTRIES NEWS SERVICE (SVM NEWS)
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