Places of worship in Belarus capital
Minsk has always been a multi-religious city. At the time of the 1917 October Revolution, it was home to communities of virtually every religion known in Europe… However, the war of the Soviet authorities on religion combined with the religious policy in the independence period after 1991 changed the religious profile of Minsk.
During a 2011 survey, 3% of Minskers aged 18+ said they were atheists. 71% of Minsk residents were Orthodox Christian; 14% were Roman Catholics; 2% were Protestants. 63% Belarusians trust Belarusian Orthodox Church. In January 2014, up to 500,000 pilgrims came to see the Gift of The Wise Men on display in Minsk – more than in Moscow. At the same time, many Belarusians are not devout church-goers. A significant amount of them are likely to agree with Belarus president Alyaksandar Lukashenka who once described himself as being "an Orthodox Christian Atheist". The freedom of religion is set forth by the Constitution of Belarus, while the Law on the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations (1992) sets out the equality of religions. However, the 2002 amendments to the Law recognize “the defining role of the Belarusian Orthodox Church in the historical formation and development of spiritual, cultural and statehood traditions of Belarusian people”. The Belarusian Roman Catholic Church, Belarusian Evangelic Lutheran Church, Judaism and Islam were also recognized as relevant to and inseparable from Belarusian culture, history and spiritual life.
Just like centuries ago, numerous religions and churches peacefully coexist in Minsk.
Let's take a closer look at them.