159 Protestants Take Part in Indefinite Hunger Strike 15:58, 20/10/2006
In Belarus 159 Protestants are taking part in the indefinite hunger strike in defence of the New Life church in Minsk. The hunger strike is carried out by Christians of the Fellowship of Churches of Full Gospel, the BelaPAN was informed by a press secretary of the church Ina Davydovich.
As said by her, as of October 20, 11 a.m., out of 159 protesters 37 are constantly staying inside the church building which is situated in the district of Sukharava in Kavalyou St., 72, and 86 parishioners are carrying out the hunger strike spending nights in the church and visiting it from time to time in the day. “Besides, 36 persons are taking part in the protest action in a number of citizens of Belarus, in Russia and Ukraine. Believers from 34 Belarusian cities and towns have expressed their solidarity with us by joining the hunger strike and holding prayer services,” I. Davydovich said. As said by her, last night 129 protesters spent a night in the church. Participants of the protest note that they are ready to continue the hunger strike for a long time,” I. Davydovich said.
About 30 letters from Austria, Belarus and the Great Britain with words of support to the protesters have been received over the day. A Minsk dweller Ihar Stankevich addressed Minsk city executive committee and the Supreme Economic Court with a demand to stop persecution of the New Life Church. As I. Davydovich said, the situation with the Christian community is constantly covered by electronic mass media of Austria, Poland and Germany.
As we have informed, the hunger strike started on October 5. Its participants demand to reverse the ruling of the Minsk city executive committee on depriving the church of its land and building. They also demand to give the building a status of a worship building. The former cowshed had been bought by the community from Kalinin collective farm.