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New Pressure On Life Evangelical Church In Minsk

Minsk city authorities have been trying to repossess the New Life Church's building since 2005. (file photo)
MINSK -- The embattled New Life Evangelical Church in Minsk is facing eviction again.

The church's lawyer, Syarhey Lukanin, said he received an official letter from Minsk city authorities demanding that the parish vacate the church's building by December 5.

Local officials have been trying since 2005 to repossess the building, a Soviet-era barn formerly used for cattle.

In 2010, a ruling by the Minsk Economic Court fined the New Life Church the equivalent of $82,000 for contaminating the ground near the church with gasoline and oil. The court froze the church's bank accounts to extract the fine.

The church congregation has organized numerous protests, including hunger strikes, in an effort to keep control of the building.