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Question: Cual usted concidera que es el mejor calendario liturgico para la Iglesia?  (Voting closed: June 24, 2005, 11:01:04 AM)
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Author Topic: Strict Legislation on Religions in Belarus  (Read 2618 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nigula Qian Zishi
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« on: October 03, 2002, 08:04:02 PM »

MINSK, Belarus, OCT. 2, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Belarusian Parliament approved amendments that would make its religious law one of the most repressive in Europe.

The legislation, which prohibits the registration of religious communities that were not established during the Soviet era, was adopted overwhelmingly today by the upper house, 46-to-2.

If President Aleksandr Lukashenko sanctions the new norm, all religious activity not registered administratively, will be outside the law.

The purpose of the draft law is to favor the establishment of the Orthodox Church, Stanislav Buko, the president of the state Commission for Religious and National Affairs, told Parliament.

"The law takes into consideration Belarusian tradition, which needs to protect itself from new cults and sects," he said.

The text of the law recognizes "the determinant role of the Orthodox Church both in the historical destiny and spiritual and cultural development as well as in the traditions of the Belarusian people."

According to the text, the possibility of publishing texts and of imparting religious education is limited to confessions that have 10 registered communities, one of which was registered before 1982. At that time, the Communist regime did not recognize many Christian communities, including the Greek-Catholics.

About half of Belarus' 10.1 million people are avowed believers. Of those, 80% are Orthodox, 14% are Catholic and 2% are Protestant, according to the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences.
Last weekend, during a congress organized by the Charismatic Renewal in Czestochowa, Archimandrite Sergiusz Jan Gajek of Minsk, of the Greek-Catholic Church of Belarus, warned that the new law would make the Church's evangelization efforts in Belarus extremely difficult.

"We are used to clandestinity and persecution, but we do not want them to apply euthanasia or suicide to us. Pray for our witness in former Soviet countries," said the priest, who is also a consultor of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches.
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ality
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2002, 10:52:54 PM »

Hello- new to the forum.  I like it! Grin

There should be no reason for such laws.  Orthodoxy does not need protection.  Putting up such barriers only leads outsiders to think that Orthodoxy is somehow weak or insecure of istelf.  Orthodoxy has the truth of the Apostolic Tradition.  This has more to do wiith the reppression of the belarusyn people rather than Orthodoxy in Belarus'.  They aim to control all aspects of theiir people, including religion.  

Ality

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Nigula Qian Zishi
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2002, 10:59:17 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Welcome Ality! Glad you are liking it here. Interesting numbers on the poll thusfar. Anyone else wnat to explain why they like or dislike it? God Bless!
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2002, 02:15:00 AM »

<<. Anyone else wnat to explain why they like or dislike it? >>

To me, still an outsider, I could see how this makes the Church look very ethnic and overly controlled by the state.  Also I think it is important to seperate what is God's and what is Caesar's.  That being said, I still know very little on the topic and would gladly switch viewpoints with a good explination of how this helps Orthodoxy.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2002, 03:22:49 AM »

First, let me give a disclaimer. Anything I say in this post is directly applicable to the situation described inm the first post of this thread only. Each situation is unique, and I am not suggesting that the same approach described in this post be applied to all situations.

____

I personally don't buy into the "Orthodoxy is correct therefore Orthodoxy has nothing to fear and should support religious freedom" argument. I mean no disrespect to those who hold to it, but I think it fails on all counts. Practically speaking, in both the Scriptures (E.g., Elijah) and Church history (E.g., Emperor Theodosius) we find examples of Saints very strictly standing against those who disagree with God's Israel, the Church. Why did they do this? Because they knew that the truth in fact would not alway win out. One need only read the Gospels, or perhaps the first part of Exodus, to realise that people do not always follow the truth, even when it is standing in front of them. It is the Church's duty to watch over her sheep, she cannot say that "the sheep should know what wolves look like, so we'll let them roam as freely as they like". Many heresies are sublte, and built on a foundation of (mis-applied) Scripture and Tradition. Many of them sound perfectly logical: in fact, many times they are more "logical" (according to carnal knowledge) than the orthodox belief. What some call "religious repression" the Orthodox should proudly call "watching out for her children". Peoples souls are at risk here, it is not enough to merely hope that things turn out for the best.

What we have here is one culture trying to force it's opinion on people. Do I mean the Belarusians? Nope, I mean the Westerners. Ironic that we westerners, the ones who supposedly champion freedom of thought and toleration towards all, are the ones forcing our beliefs (multi-culturalism and an extreme version of "religious freedom") onto others. This is nothing more than Pagan Rome being reborn. What did Pagan Rome say? "You can worship whatever deities you wish, so long as you are willing to recognize the deity X" (the X changed from emperor to emperor-- but the point is that there was always a central divine figure that people had to be willing to offer sacrifice to). Western society has revived this idea, and defined the X: "You can worship whatever deities you wish, and have whatever beliefs you wish, so long as you are willing to allow multi-culturalism and toleration in your society". Western societies deity, their X, is the pan-heresy sometimes labeled Ecumenism. The beliefs of this pan-heresy is this: "We do not necessarily agree with all beliefs, but we must accept and tolerate all beliefs and not condemn anyone...  oh, except for those who would dare to protect their sheep from sects and heretics, they have blasphemed our deity and must pay the price."

Justin Popovich, pray unto God for us all!
Holy Theotokos, save us all!
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I'm not quite sure what to make of the common argument for Christianity that might be rephrased as: "Well, it's better than suicide, right?"
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2002, 03:44:55 PM »

Of all people here I am the least qualified to pontificate. However, given the circumstances spelled out in the article, I tend to agree with Belarus. It is the decision of the state even though it may not fall under "prefered" world or modern thinking.
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2002, 03:53:22 PM »

The religious-liberty page linked to my main page/libertarian-right page linked to my intro page gives my view on religious liberty.
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