Since the 14th century, Muslim Tatars have been settling in Belarus, be it captured or invited warriors or those taking refuge from political crises in their homeland. First Minsk Tatars were captured in a battle in the early 16th century and settled in Tatar's End: currently near the Palace of Sports. Many Tatars are Belarusian-speaking and totally assimilated – yet, they continue following Islam. The toughest period for Belarusian Tatars was in the second half of the 20th century. In 1962, their only stone mosque was demolished to clear way for the construction of Yubileynaya Hotel. The Muslim Cemetery was also destroyed, while the Tatar streets were renamed.
The independence of Belarus brought about more religious freedom. In 1991, Al-Kitab (since 2000, Zikr Al-Kitab) association that united Tatars living in Minsk and Hrodna was founded. In 1994, local Tatars founded the Muslim Religious Community of the Republic of Belarus. Out of 26 Muslim (mostly Sunni) communities in Belarus, three are based in Minsk. 3,000 out of 10,000 Belarusian Muslims are said to live in Minsk.
The nearest to Minsk mosque is based in Smilavičy. The construction of a new Minsk Mosque has been in progress on the crossing of Hrybajedava and Tarchanava streets in Minsk since 2004. You can learn more about Muslims in Minsk at islam.by
- Address: Hrybajedava 29
- Contact data: +374 44 755-55-66
- Website: Muslims in Belarus