Belarusian Baptists recall soviet times



On 24 October an evening of history devoted to the persecutions of Christians of Belarus in the 20th century was held in the Minsk Bethlehem Church of Baptist Christians. "Now is a different time"—this phrase resounded repeatedly in the course of the evening of history. Practically all those who lived in the difficult soviet time of atheistic propaganda are already in Eternity. The children and grandchildren of God's faithful ministers were invited to the evening.


Rare photos from domestic archives with a brief history were displayed on easels. A brief film about presbyters of the churches of the region who were exiled and executed was shown.


"It was impossible to get a Bible. We copied it by hand. And here a chance to get a Bible showed up. It had been confiscated at the border; praise God it was not burned up but was resold. It cost 70 rubles, the average salary of that time," believer Iosif Rachkovsky recalled, emphasizing that today it is difficult for young people to imagine how the Bible could be unavailable," the Bethlehem church website explained.


Believer Nikolai Sinkovets recalled the soviet period thus: "I worked with children and youth. And every time when I left home I said goodbye to my parents, because I did not know whether I will return. For such work a huge prison term threatened. At that time there were no doctors of theology or educated ministers. But under the conditions of persecution cohesion, concern, worries and prayer were very much felt. Now it is more difficult to create such an atmosphere in churches."


The youth choir of the Bethlehem church under the direction of Vadim Yachnik performed songs written by believers in prisons and labor camps. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 November 2021)

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