Many of you will have heard of Slava Goncharenko (pictured, left with his fellow leader and translator Sergei Vaschevic), the leader of New Life Church in Minsk, Belarus. Just a few weeks ago Slava attended our annual Worldwatch conference at All Nations and spoke of the current condition in his country and the wonderful way in which Jesus is moving powerfully through the Holy Spirit. Belarus is ruled by the Soviet-styled dictator Alexander Lukashenko and the church there has suffered intense persecution for many years under him. (Here's a current article on Lukashenko from this week's Guardian newspaper).
Just a few days ago we received communication from Slava that the city authorities in Minsk are demanding that the church vacates their building (which they own and have paid for) and hand it over to the authorities. This is part of a long running campaign of intimidation and threats against the church, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Here is the communication from Slava and Sergei, along with a request that we pray and act on their behalf:
Dear Caring and Praying Friends,Today, on November 27, we at New Life church received court summons from the Supreme Economic Court, in which our church is to vacate its building, then make an extra set of keys for representatives of the Moscow District Household Management Department of the Minsk City no later than December 5th 2012. Transfer of the church building and its keys to the representatives of the Minsk City Household Management Department is to be carried out on December 5th at 11.00am. We are not going to give up our church nor our right to worship the Lord there!Please forward and share this news with your friends, your Congressman, your Senator (s), newsmakers, media outlets, reporters and send protest letters to the Belarusian Embassy in your nation.You can follow recent developments and news at: www.newlife.by/eng_index.phpIn Christ, sergei for all of us there