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If you’ve seen the news, you will have noticed the political tension in Belarus is boiling over at this moment in time.
Over 100,000 people have lined the streets of Minsk, protesting against Mr Lukashenko (Europe’s longest serving ruler).
Mr Lukashenko came into power 26 years ago, and has arguably tried to preserve elements of Soviet communism since then.
Although it feels like this news has come ‘out of the blue’ - there have been concerns about the political tensions for quite some time in Belarus.
A church from within the Radstock church shared their experience with us a few months ago, as the elections were nearing.
It seemed to them that the results of the election were going to be close. There was potential for real frustration amongst Belarusian people, if Mr Lukashenko remained in power.
As it turns out, those predictions were correct.
In the build up to the election opposition candidates were jailed, another fled the country - and the results came in that Mr Lukashenko won by 80% of the votes.
Now there is a situation where many Belarusian people believe that these votes have been tampered with, and anger is pouring out onto the streets in the form of protests.
As protests have gone on for the past two weeks, there are reports of alleged police brutality, and Mr Lukashenko has gone on record to say that they would ‘have to kill him, to get rid of him’.
The Church pastor shared his prayer request early last month: pray that ‘this situation wouldn’t turn into a bloody civil war’. He has since been arrested, and is on trial for his part in the protests.
The few evangelical churches in Belarus are in a tough position. Taking sides politically could put them in a dangerous position. But also, they feel called to do what’s right.
This takes a lot of wisdom and, of course, prayer.
We urge Radstock churches and supporters to keep praying for these protests: that they would be peaceful protests, and would keep the Belarusian people safe.
Please pray too for the churches in Belarus, although they are few in number. They believe it’s important that they can keep a sense of religious freedom, and to not get dragged into this as political pieces.
It’s also important for these churches to show the Belarusian people who are longing for a ‘better ruler’ and a ‘better place’ to have the gospel explained to them clearly, and for them to respond with trust in Jesus.
After all, He is the great ruler of all, who promises a Kingdom and Kingship that is unbreakable: that is wonderful news for those who believe, because it will be a perfect fellowship with him, and with one another.