Baptist pastor arrested and fined in Brest for preaching on the street
On June 2, Vladimir Burshtyn was arrested and taken to trial after having been preaching in the street in Drahichyn the day before. The law enforcers told his wife that the reason for the arrest was the "organisation of mass events". He was fined 555 Belarusian rubles, over a month's average pension in the country.
Forum 18 reports that on June 1, police in the town of Drahichyn, in the Brest Voblasts, blocked a group of Baptists from sharing their faith while performing music. Vladimir Stepanovich Burshtyn, a 70-year-old preacher, was taken to the police station and held overnight. The next day, a judge punished him for planning an unauthorised "mass event" in a private session, in order to keep other Baptists from attending. According to the local Baptist who spoke to Forum 18, Burshtyn has appealed the fine to Brest Regional Court.
Burshtyn is a member of the Baptist Council of Churches, who as a matter of principle do not seek permission from the state to exercise freedom of religion or belief.
Photo: Христианская Визия