Lukanin: I Was Detained For Gospel More Than 30 Times
A legal adviser of Minsk Full Gospel Christian Church “New Life” Syarhey Lukanin decided to lodge a complaint against the prohibition of public Bible readings. “It would be great if Christians were trully free in sharing their beliefs. But it is only a sidenote. Tomorrow I am going to continue gospelling on the street. Thank God!”, – wrote he on Facebook.
A complaint against the prohibition to read the Bible in Gorky Park, issued by Minsk city executiove council, he filed to the Minsk Maskouski district court. The complaint states that since 2007 Lukanin spread his beliefs and was detained by yhe police more than 30 times but every time he was released because he managed to convince the police that he doe sont violate the Constitution, the Article 31 of which states that “everybody has a right… to express and spread beliefs connected with religion”.
But on 10 November, 2014 the judge fined him 20 primary amounts for Bible readings and advised him not ot read Bible in the streets during the following year because otherwise the next fine would be much larger. She also advised him to get the city committee’s permit to read the Bible publicly. But a year later representatives of Minsk city executive committee, while referring to Article 25 of the Law on freedom of consciousness and religious organizations, equaled Bible readings with religious activity allowed only to religious organizations.
“This article, as well as the whole Law does not conatain any norms allowing aulify Bible readings as a religious activity. Otherwise anybody who deciede to read the Bible aloud otside the church, graveyard or crematorium, e.g. at home, would be forced to turn to local authorities for a respective permit”, – notices the lawyer, thus emphasizing that the authorities violated Art. 5 of the Law and Art. 31 of the Constitution.
“The only basis of their prohobition is a statement that reading the Bible aloud is a religious activity prohibited to the Citizens. How then citizens can freely express their beliefs if they cannot even read the Bible aloud?”, – the believer asks.
Considering the aforementioned facts, he asks to invalidate the denialof Minsk city executive committee.
Syarhey Lukainin has already wrote a letter to the parliament asking to give an official commentary on articles 5 and 25 of the Law on freedom of consciousness and religious organizations. He is particularily interested how a citizen of Belarus can freely express and spread his religious views. He also asks to be answered whether it is legal on the basis of Art.25 of the Law on mass events in the Republic of Belarus and whether it is a religious activity permitted exlusively to religious organizations to read the Bible publicly with an aim of popularization the texts of the Bible and Christian values.
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