KGB sends plumbers to New Life church

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The Minsk city authorities have increased pressure on the New Life protestant church, lawyer Siarhei Lukanin told the European Radio for Belarus.  Viachaslau Hancharenka, the church pastor, was summoned to the prosecutor office of the Maskouski district for August 7. He was summoned in connect with the three-year battle between the parishioners and the authorities for the building of the church.

Lukanin: "Our pastor was summoned to a prosecutor's office in connection with this matter. He was also threatened with imprisonment. At the same time, the whole thing ended withy a court ruling a fine of Br350,000.

Besides, the authorities again wired Br37.5 millionto the church's bank account allegedly as a compensation for the building. (This translates to $8 per one square meter). Protestants returned the money back.

The church was also visited by workers from the Water and Sewage Company. They intended to check if the church was illegally connected to the water supply syste. Privately, the workers told the parishioners that they were fulfilling an order from the security services.

In the words of Siarhei Lukanin, the authorities have intent to resolve the problem with New Life, using force.