Too Religious? A Child Was Taken From the Young Believer in Svetlahorsk


On 7 April Svetlahorsk court made a positive verdict on the plea of previously convicted Georgy Bykhavets and took a child from his ex-wife, a conservative Orthodox believer.

According to, the case of Dinah Bykhavets was being reviewed by the court for a month.

The court agreed with accusations made by the ex-husband insisting on the fact that religious upbringing is harmful for the child, – Dinah Bykhavets refused a passport, does not use television, cellphones, social networks, dresses her daughter in long skirts, has many icons at home, regularly visits the church accompanied by the child. At the court Dinah’s ex-husband and his relatives made a scandal with human rights activists and journalists who came to support Dina.

Nevertheless, the court evidently supported one of the relative’s point “I visit the church, too! Why to have all this?”. The court did not take into consideration neither the letter by Svetlahorsk Shipping, LLC director guaranteeing an immediate employment of Dina Bykhavets at her will nor a pedagogist diploma that in her opinion should have removed the reprimands of the child not developing. The letter from Vsevolod Chaplin, the Moscow Patriarchate church-state cooperation department chairman, asking Svetlahorsk authorities not discriminate Dinah was not attached to the case either.

The court also did not took into consideration Dinah’s statement that her ex-husband regularly drinks alcohol, has not his own accomodation, swears in presence of his daughter. The latter accusation was parried by Georgy telling that while visiting the daughter he can not help making a row because he cannot behave himself in the room filled with “bijouterie” – Orthodox icons.

The commission that inspected Dinah’s living conditions stated that she has enough children wear appropriate for the season, toys suitable for child’s age, enough food supply.

Dinah Bykhavets intends to give notice of appeal to the higher court.