Protestant Church In Belarus Fails To Get Property Back

MINSK -- The protestant New Life Church in Minsk has failed again in an attempt to have its property and church returned to it, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The appeals board of the Belarusian Supreme Economic Court on March 5 upheld that court's January 13 decision not to overturn a resolution by the city of Minsk to take the property away from the New Life Church, which it did in 2005.

Church lawyer Syarhey Lukanin told RFE/RL that the New Life Church strongly disagrees with the latest decision. He said it will continue to fight to regain its property. The New Life Church is not registered in Belarus, which the government says makes it ineligible to own property.

The New Life congregation -- which numbers about 1,000 people -- purchased the church in 2002, three years after Belarus banned protestant groups from renting buildings to be used for prayer.



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