Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Friday, March 03, 2006

CHRISTIANS IN RUSSIA

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Dear friends,
Today my father, pastor of our church, was summoned to the court. He was charged with holding systematic religious meetings in his private home without permission from the local authorities. I should explain that in our country since 2002 churches can meet only in buildings registered as "religious". Our congregation meets in a building which formally belongs to my father as his private home. That's why our Sunday meetings are "illegal".
We expected that he will be found guilty. What we did not expect at all is the punishment for his "crime". The hearing took about an hour and a half. In an hour the judge announced the verdict - 10 days of imprisonment.
This was a real shock to all of us who were present (about 25 pastors and church members). This never happened since 1986 when the last religious prisoner was released from the Soviet prisons. My father is the first to be imprisoned for Christian faith in the former USSR since the fall of the Soviet empire.
After the announcement of the verdict we waited for about two hours when finally my father was given the court's decision in written form. From the court he was taken straight to the police station and from there to jail. I had just enough time to go home and bring him warm clothes and some food.
I will not see my father for the next 10 days. He will be released on March 13, about noon. But we will pray that the Lord may strengthen him and use this situation for His glory.
Please pray for my father and our church. Please let your friends know that persecutions against Christian faith in Belarus have begun. Pray that the Lord may protect religious freedom in our country.
I will be leading our church meeting next Sunday. I do not know whether police will come and try to stop our service, but we will continue to worship our Lord.
Slava,Son of Georgi Viazovski imprisoned pastor of Reformed Baptist Church "Christ Covenant" in Minsk.