It is illegal in Belarus to read the Bible in homes or dormitories, although you are allowed to in church buildings. Religious activities at educational institutions are considered to be illegal. Furthermore, Belarusian students receive little support from local churches - either because they have non-Christian friends, which is frowned upon, or because the pastors don’t approve of interdenominational gatherings. Pray for greater freedom for Belarusian Christians and for church leaders to see the importance of supporting Christian students.
Often considered the last surviving dictatorship in Europe, the government of Belarus allows almost no political opposition. The Orthodox Church is the only officially recognised denomination and unregistered religious activity can result in imprisonment or heavy fines. Unregistered churches are monitored by the secret police and violent raids occur frequently. Because the numbers of evangelical and Pentecostal Christians is growing, persecution is intensifying. Praise God that the church is growing. Pray for courage and perseverance for pastors whose churches are being monitored and for a change in the government's attitude to Christianity.
Population: 9,498,700 (2016)
Official languages: Belarusian, Russian
GDP (PPP) per capita: $18,349 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 71 years
Religions: 76% Eastern Orthodox, 17% Catholic, 5% Protestant, 1% Muslim, 1% Jewish