- 03 March 2016
01 December 2015
According to official statistics, 59 percent of Belarusian citizens are Orthodox Christians. Yet many Orthodox churches stand empty, and as few as 18 percent of Orthodox believers regularly attend religious services.
Due to such low levels of religious fervour among the general public, state support has...
18 March 2015
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, second in line in the Vatican hierarchy to Pope Francis, called an internationally ostracised Belarus a "model for our world".
Visiting Minsk on 12-15 March, he also denounced the West's policy of isolation and promised to provide the Holy See's help in improving Minsk's relations with Europe.
Belarusian President Alexander...
10 February 2015
At the end of January, senior Belarusian officials made statements that threatened to undermine Belarus' good relations with the Vatican, severing ties that the country had worked for years to establish.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka and the Commissioner for Religions spoke out against the presence of foreign Catholic priests, most of whom are Polish citizens, in Belarusian parishes,...
13 January 2015
Belarusian Orthodox circles call it the beginning of a new era, as Metropolitan Pavel, its new leader who recently moved from Russia to Belarus, stated he would ask the Moscow Patriarchate to grant the Belarusian Orthodox Church self-governing status.
Currently, the Belarusian Orthodox Сhurch constitutes a part of the Moscow Patriarchate and lacks the authority to deal even with...
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....
09 November 2013
In recent months, two political prisoners, Źmicier Daškievič and Paval Seviaryniec, completed their incarceration and compulsory labour terms. Both promote Christian politics and are going to keep on struggling with the regime in the upcoming 2014 and 2015 elections.
Belarus remains the least religious country of the former Soviet Union, with only 33% of...
13 September 2013
On 10 September, the world marked suicide prevention day. Belarus ranks sixth in the world with regard to the number of total suicides that occur annually.
Last year, about two thousand Belarusians committed suicide - higher than the number of road accident victims. Belarusian men, like elsewhere in the world, tend to commit suicide more than women, though the large number of...
12 July 2013
On 4 July the president of the Papal Inter-Religious Committee from the Vatican, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, met with Alexander Lukashenka in Minsk. During the meeting, Belarusian authorities tried to convince the Vatican’s representative that all 25 religious denominations present in Belarus live in peace and enjoy freedom. However, as Lukashenka made clear, only the Orthodox Church can have...
08 May 2013
This April, the region of Paliessie in southern Belarus experienced annual flood caused by major local rivers. The flood was the largest in decades.
Yet Paliessie is famous not only for floods that turn towns and villages into islands. The region’s population presents a distinct ethnic group within the Belarusian nation. They speak a peculiar dialect and retain many features of...
24 January 2013
Last month New Life, a Protestant Church in Minsk, celebrated its victory: the authorities allowed them to pray in the cowshed. Over the last five years, this Protestant community had to go through over 30 court hearings and their success has a bitter aftertaste.
Protestantism in Belarus undergoes a renaissance. Albeit the Protestant...
07 January 2013
Belarus is a unique country when it comes to Christmas: it has one Christmas at the end of December and the other one in early January. Both are official days off.
The Belarusian state officially recognises two confessions - the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches - as the most legitimate and important. Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas on 7 January by the Julian calendar, whereas...