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Greek Catholics in Belarus – a Struggle on the Margins
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On 13 February, Belarus’s main state television channel aired a 25-minute broadcast praising the Greek Catholic Church. The positive coverage signifies a change in how the Belarusian authorities treat this marginalised institution, which was previously viewed with...
1 December 2015
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The Growing Power of the Belarusian Orthodox Church – Belarus Photo Digest

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...

18 March 2015
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Holy See: Belarus is a Model for Our World

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...

10 February 2015
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Belarus Wants Foreign Catholic Priests Out

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...

13 January 2015
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Belarusian Orthodox Church Seeks More Independence from Russia

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...

22 November 2013
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Why Belarus Authorities Keep a Catholic Priest in Jail

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...

9 November 2013
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Will Christian Values Unite the Belarusian Opposition?

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...

13 September 2013
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Why Do Belarusians Commit Suicide?

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...

12 July 2013
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Belarusian Orthodox Church: In Symphony With The State

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...

8 May 2013
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People of the Swamps Fight the Flooding

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...

24 January 2013
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Limits of Religious Tolerance: Protestantism in Belarus

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...

7 January 2013
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Two Christmases in One Country

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...

5 December 2012
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Minsk Court will not Evict a Protestant Group – Civil Society Digest

The Marketplace of Youth Initiatives announces results in Brest. Fond of Ideas conducts a talk show on corporate social responsibility. The Liberal Club presents an alternative view on public administration reform. The Office for the Rights of People with...

9 October 2012
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Vatican Helps to Release Belarusian Political Prisoners

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...

1 March 2012
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Orthodox Church is Losing Belarus

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...