religion in Belarus
10 May 2017
Last month, the Pew Research Centre released its Global Restrictions on Religion report, which gauges barriers imposed by governments as well as social hostilities towards religious organisations. Out of the nearly 200 countries studied, Belarus ranked among the 'high-risk' group when it comes to religious restrictions.
In a regional context, Belarus fared worse than...
22 March 2017
While many Belarusians call themselves religious, less than 10% regularly visit church and only 33% believe that religion is important, according to a Gallup study of religiosity.
Despite the fact that Belarus is among the top-15 least religious countries in the world the Orthodox Church remains influential in the public sphere.
The Orthodox Church maintains a special status in...
16 May 2016
Last week, Belarusians celebrated Radaunitsa, a day dedicated to visiting the graves of one’s relatives and ancestors in order to commemorate the dead.
Radaunitsa originated in pagan traditions but over time was incorporated into the religious celebrations of the Orthodox Church. It takes place a week after Easter, usually on a Tuesday, and is a state holiday in Belarus.
24 February 2016
Belarus may be one of the least religious countries in the world, but Catholic believers are countering the general trend.
There are 619 Catholic parishes and about 1.4 million of self-identified Catholics in Belarus. Most regularly attend the Sunday mass and participate in colourful religious celebrations throughout the year.
Here are some of the scenes from the life of Belarus...
27 February 2015
In February 2015 following the negotiations in Minsk the President of Belarus said he was not planning to “turn to the West.” He explained, “You and I are Russian people... we have shared history. We have shared opinions.”
According to the recently released World Value Survey (WVS), Belarusians and Russians indeed have a lot in common. Respondents in both...
22 November 2013
On 15 November, several Belarusian organisations appealed to Amnesty International and local human rights structures to recognise priest Lazar as a prisoner of conscience.
Uladzislau Lazar has already spent four months in a KGB jail on charges of 'treason of the state' despite the fact that the public does not know any details surrounding the criminal case....
15 March 2013
In his congratulation letter to the newly elected Pope Francis, Alexander Lukashenka invited the Pontiff to visit the "friendly Belarusian land".
Although two previous Popes declared the wish to come to Minsk, neither actually had a chance to meet the millions of Belarusian Catholics. Whereas Minsk remains unwanted in the West, the Vatican appears an important mediator...
09 October 2012
Apostolic nuncio Claudio Gugerotti is the only diplomat who can visit the Belarusian prisoners of conscience.
The Holy See seems to work as an intermediary between the European Union and Lukashenka with regard to release of the political prisoners. The nunciature tries to keep their profile low and refuses to give details of the visits to prisons. The secrecy of those visits...
01 March 2012
Belarus is turning away from the Orthodox Church. That is what statistics presented last week by Lieanid Huliaka, the Commissioner for Religions and Nationalities suggests. Belarusian protestants are the most active churchgoers, while Orthodox Christians are the least active. Only state support allows the Orthodox Church to keep up the appearance that it dominates religious life in...