Please Pray for Belarus!

Mangroves did a great job this week in presenting the situation in Belarus. A well thought up skit was done to jazz the presentation up a little bit which resulted in a very humorous yet informing performance. The facts are as below:

General Facts

    Where is Belarus: In Eastern Europe- Near Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania
    Population: Approx. 9.69 million (According to wiki)
    Ethnic groups: Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1%
    Speak: Russian or Belarusian 

    Religions

    80% of the Belarusian Orthodox Church (A branch of the Russian Orthodox Church)
    14% of the Catholic Church
    4% Eastern religious groups ((including Muslims, Hare Krishnas, and Baha’i)
    2% are Protestant (including Seventh-day Adventists, Old Believers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Apostolic Christians)

    Government
    Close economic/political ties to Russia
    Alexandr LUKASHENKO (first president-since election 1994) has secured his power through authoritarian means (almost a dictatorship)
    The Government enforced laws that limit freedom of worship/religion, speech, and assembly
    Random fact: Lukashenko has even gone as far as changing the country’s constitution to allow him to remain in office for an unlimited amount of time after each election.

    Prayer Points

    Religion- main problem= government heavily restricts religious freedom
    Christianity has grown in recent years, however because Lukashenka is pro-Russian Orthodox- great restriction on activities of all other Christian groups
    There is a cultural bias against evangelical Christians
    Home worship is prohibited in Belarus
    Authorities also harassed and fined members of certain religious groups, especially those that appeared to be bearers of foreign cultural influence or as having a political agenda
    Foreign missionaries, clergy, and humanitarian workers affiliated with churches faced many government-imposed obstacles, including deportation and visa refusal or cancellation.
     
    Pray for all Christians of Belarus, that this repressive law may be repealed, and the Christians will be able to worship without restrictions.

Next Week
We have Mikey’s group presentning CUBA. What will we hear from them next week? a bit of pitbull, cuban cigars? who knows?? Only time will tell 
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