Method #132: Refusal to Dissolve Existing Institutions

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A decade ago, many Protestant churches in Belarus were facing uncertain times, unable to officially register with the government due to a 2002 law. Consequently, they often faced legal issues when it came to the use of their buildings. In 2005, the city of Minsk attempted to force the New Life Church to sell its church building, citing them for violations because it was not zoned as a place of worship (which, even if it had been, would not have mattered, since the church as not legally a religious entity). In spite of heavy pressure on the part of the authorities, the church refused to sell the building and dissolve.

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