Religion in Belarus

Religion in Belarus

Religion in Belarus is predominantly split between two Christian denominations, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic. While the Belarusian Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church account for roughly 94 percent of those who profess a religious faith (80% and 14% respectively), there are remnants of the the Protestant Church, Islam and Judaism as well.

Saviour Transfiguration Church in Polatsk

Corpus Christi Church in Nesvizh

According to January 2007 census figures from the Office of the Plenipotentiary Representative for Religious and Nationality Affairs (OPRRNA), the breakdown of religious faith in Belarus is as follows. *Its important to point out that unlike the Razumkov Centre census on Religion in Ukraine (which shows percentages from the whole population), this survey only represents the 50% of Belarusians who consider themselves religious.

  • 80% of faithful belong to the Belarusian Orthodox Church
    • jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church
    • only 18% of polled Belarusian Orthodox regularly attend church service
  • 14% belong to the Roman Catholic Church
    • a large part of this group is comprised of ethnic Poles
    • 50% of polled Belarusian Catholics regularly attend church service
  • 2% are of Protestant denominations
    • a large part of this group is comprised of ethnic Germans
  • <2% adhere to Islam
    • Consisting of indigenous Tatar who’s ancestors settled within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (during the 14th to 17th centuries), plus more recent Muslim immigrants from former Soviet states.
  • <2% practice Judaism
    • Similar to Ukraine, the Jewish community was a large, vibrant part of Belarusian culture prior to the Holocaust. In 1914 there were an estimated 1.3 million Jews, making up 50 to 60% of the population in many urban cities. Sadly, less than 10% of Belarusian Jews survived the war.