Belarusian church now also banned from its parking lot


Eastern Europe


Meeting of the New Life Congregation outside the church building. Photo Церковь "Новая Жизнь" (Минск)

After being evicted from their building, the Belarusian New Life congregation has now also been banned from its parking lot. The pastors of the congregation in Minsk were detained and fined.

Minsk's District Police expelled the New Life Church from its car park on Sunday, September 25. The churchgoers were preparing for their weekly church service as police officers told them to cancel the meeting. That is reported by Forum 18. The law enforcement officers even threatened people with detainment if they would not leave the car park. Furthermore, they warned pastor Goncharenko that the meeting of the New Life Church was unauthorised.

The Deputy Chair of the Minsk City Executive Committee has rejected all requests of the New Life Church for permission for their meetings in the car park or to have their building returned to them.

Pastor Goncharenko says to Forum 18 that the church administrator had warned him that the police were waiting for him while he was on his way to the church. "It turned out that officers had already shouted in the microphone that people had to leave."

As the service could not go through, the church leadership organised an online meeting without the congregation present. They found an indoor venue and broadcast their worship service on their YouTube channel.


Forum 18 inquired why the congregation is not allowed to meet outside the building from which they were evicted in early 2021. However, the Frunze District Court judge did not want to respond. Furthermore, the Minsk City Executive Committee was not reachable.

Three days earlier, pastor Vyachevslav Goncharenko had already spent time in detention at the local police station. He then received a fine of 1,200 euros and was released afterwards.

Goncharenko insists that the church must not stop organising its worship meetings. "As the Bible says: "For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."



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