BELARUS: USCIRF Report: Religious freedom continues to deteriorate
USCIRF (04.12.2023) –The religious freedom situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate as Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka subjugates every aspect of social life to the state’s security and bureaucratic apparatuses, according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
The update report of USCIRF provides an overview of religious freedom conditions in Belarus in 2023, including the impact of expanding government repression on religious communities.
In 2023, Belarus’ parliament considered adopting a new religion law that would impose stricter requirements on religious communities and unjustifiably prohibit them from certain religious and political activities.
Law enforcement agencies harass Protestants who conduct ordinary religious activities without state approval, and local authorities pressure Roman Catholics by targeting their houses of worship, including Minsk’s iconic Church of Saints Simon and Helena (also known as the Red Church). Christian religious leaders of all denominations are often detained, fined, imprisoned, and forced into exile for activities that the state perceives as political in nature.