Yesterday was Christmas Day in Belarus but it wasn't very peaceful. A friend of mine in the country emailed me:
"19 people were arrested and now are suspected in organising and implementing mass riots (this from 5 to 15 years in prison), about 700 people from the protesters and some accidental people are now in prison for 10-15 days. Arrests and searches continue the whole of this week, even today during Christmas day."
"Before 2006 the authorities were using the oppressive law on freedom of religion to arrest and make searches in the flats and houses where "unregistered religious groups" were conducting religious activities. Bible readings and church home group meeting are illegal in our country for all Christian confessions. So if they would wish so, the authorities can start the same repressions against Christians and any other "dangerous" groups.At the moment we need to advocate for the release of all prisoners in Belarus among whom there are many Christians as well. We need do demand to stop violence and repressions against citizens of Belarus. The county is paralised by fear and only few people dare to do things openly." [Name withheld]