In a recent stand-off at the Polish border, tear gas and a water cannon were used by border officers to stop the migrants from throwing dangerous objects at the officers. Thousands of mostly Middle Eastern migrants have been gathering at the border for weeks in an effort to reach the European Union. For comparison, during 2020 there were only 88 attempted illegal border crossings into Poland; in the past month, there have been 5,000. Although Belarus denies the claims, it has been suggested that the migrants have been pushed towards the border to cause problems for the EU. The tension between Belarus and the European Union began last year as the Belarusian leader, Lukashenko, declared himself winner of a discredited presidential election. While Iraq has offered to repatriate it’s citizens, most migrants are unwilling to leave.
Belarus’s political situation is very much authoritarian with Lukashenko remaining in office since 1994. In addition to civil unrest, Belarus is extremely impoverished which has led to many citizens moving elsewhere in search of a better life. Russian Orthodoxy is the state-recognized religion and evangelical Christians make up only 1.3% of the population. There is great religious persecution, however, the church is growing despite these hardships. Please pray for the persecuted church in Belarus to be encouraged and continue sharing God’s love with their fellow citizens.