Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 5:07 AM
Subject: URGENT – BELARUS
Please forgive the general nature of this mailing.
Most of you have probably been following and praying for events in Belarus
in the last few weeks. The situation is deteriorating and we have been
asked to pray and act to help. EEA does not often ask everyone to act but
we feel that the Belarussian situation merits our strong support – it is the
worst religious liberty situation in “our” part of the world. Please can we
encourage you to pray and, if in a position to do so, ask the Christians in
your country/organisation/network to pray? If you feel able, we would be
grateful if you would also speak up on behalf of our Belarussian brothers
The situation in Belarus is changing rapidly and more information will be
available in the next few days. However, we have been asked to pray
immediately so, for the time being, please would you encourage prayer on the
1. In anything you publish, please focus on religious freedom and for hope
and the well being of Belarus, not on commenting directly on the regime.
2. Pray for Sergey Shavtsov, an Evangelical human rights lawyer who was
imprisoned on 24 March for 10 days for arranging a religious meeting.
3. Pray for wisdom, courage and protection for all Christian leaders as they
face what seems to be a hardening attitude from the authorities. Organising
unregistered meetings of any sort is illegal. At the same time, it is
extremely hard to register a meeting. Criticising the actions of the
government is also a crime, punishable by imprisonment. Some churches are
unable to find somewhere legal to meet and face crippling fines. For full
information, go to www.forum18.org and search for “Belarus”.
4. Pray for the Christian community to know how to offer hope to their
country in this time of political instability. Pray for God’s light to
shine brightly on any darkness. Pray that Christian charitable work will be
able to continue. (Projects like House of Hope face closure – see website
5. Pray for President Lukashenko and his advisors, for the police and other
security forces and for the judiciary.
6. Pray for those that have potential influence upon them, especially
Russian & EU leaders.
Prayer is our most powerful way of influencing events and blessing those
that are suffering.
For those of you who would like to do more, please can we encourage you to
go to the following website www.ph1.no as it will provide you with full
information about Mr Shavtsov, the House of Hope and fresh information as it
comes in, plus ideas for action.
You will see that there is a letter on the website that can be used to write
in support of the Christian social work that is being closed down. There
is also up to date information about any arrests of Christians. If you would
like to write on behalf of Mr Shavtsov and any others in the future, there
are 3 main options.
Write short, clear, polite, confident letters that give enough details about
the particular case(s) to: –
1. The Belarussian ambassador in your country, urging the government to
release Christian prisoners and to grant freedom of religion and association
to all people. You should be able to find contact information on the
internet. (Please look out for a “cookie” sent to you and delete it).
2. Your government or local parliamentarian, giving them information on
events in Belarus and urging them to demand that the Belarussian government
changes its policies.
3. The media in your country, raising the issues and asking your country to
Thanks so much for your help. Please would you keep us informed of any
actions that you take and any responses that you receive?
Our friends in Belarus are blessed by knowing we care for them.
With warmest wishes,
EEA Religious Liberty Coordinator