Religion

The Republic of Belarus is a multi-faith state with no religious conflicts.

The country's legislation ensures and guarantees everyone's rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, social justice, equality, protection of rights and interests regardless of religion and religious affiliation, freedom of association into religious organizations.

Government bodies of all levels support initiatives of religious organizations to promote dialogue between religions based on respect for human rights and religious tolerance. Work is also underway to prevent the activities of destructive religious organizations.

Freedom of religion in Belarus is guaranteed by the Constitution. The rights and freedoms of believers are also enshrined in the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations.

There are 3,563 registered religious institutions in Belarus. They represent 25 religious denominations and movements and include 174 religious organizations (religious associations, monasteries and convents, missions, brotherhoods and sisterhoods, religious educational facilities), and 3,389 religious communities (Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, Evangelicalism, Evangelical Baptist Church, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Lutheran Church, Judaism, Islam and other churches).

In its relations with religious institutions the state proceeds from the principle of legal egalitarianism of all religions, which is enshrined in the Belarusian law. The state also has regard to the influence of the religion on the formation of spiritual and cultural values and traditions of statehood of the Belarusian people.

The Belarusian religious landscape is dominated by the Belarusian Orthodox Church. It is represented by 1,709 communities, 15 eparchies, 6 religious schools, 35 monasteries and convents, 15 brotherhoods, 10 sisterhoods and one mission. 

The Roman Catholic Church in Belarus includes four dioceses, 498 communities, six educational institutions, 11 missions and nine monasteries and convents.

Protestant religious organizations are represented by 1,038 communities, 21 associations, 22 missions and five educational institutions of 13 denominations.

The largest Protestant denominations are associations of Evangelical Christians (524 communities), Evangelical Baptist Christians (281 communities), Seventh-Day Adventists (73 communities). Lutheranism has 25 communities in the country.

Three Jewish associations unite 53 communities in Belarus. They have nine places of worship and one educational institution.

There are 24 Muslim communities in Belarus that have nine places of worship, including the Cathedral Mosque in Minsk. Its official opening took place on 11 November 2016 with the participation of Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.

In 2015, Belarus registered a Buddhist community Shen Chen Ling of the Bon tradition.

Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus pays close attention to activities of religious organizations. The President regularly meets with members of the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus.
Cathedral of the Descent of the Holy Spirit

In 2008, the Consultative Interfaith Council was set up at the commissioner for religions and nationalities to encourage an interfaith dialogue, preserve the traditions of tolerance, and enhance interaction between government agencies and religious organizations in addressing important social issues.

Important events in the religious life of the country:

  • Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences in Minsk on 28 September - 1 October 2017. The heads of episcopal conferences from 45 countries were received by the Head of State (it was symbolical that the assembly took place in the year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Holy See);
  • a session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk on 13-15 October 2018 and a meeting of the Head of State with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church;
  • consecration of the high altar of the Memorial Church of All Saints and Memory of the Victims, who Served Our National Salvation by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill within the framework of a session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk on 14 October 2018;
  • presentation of the 2018 Spiritual Revival Award to the Biblical Commission of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the section for the translation of liturgical texts and official documents of the Catholic Church of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments under the aegis of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus. The award was the acknowledgement of the efforts to translate and publish the books of the New Testament in the Belarusian language.

In spiritual terms, the 2020 highlights for Belarus were the 550th anniversary of the acquisition of the miraculous Zhirovichi Icon of the Mother of God and the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Zhirovichi Holy Assumption Stavropegial Monastery  - the spiritual shrine of Belarusian people.