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Belarus – the territory of freedom of conscience

In his address at the All-Belarusian People's Assembly, the Head of State noted the sustainable inter-faith peace in Belarus, the absence of religious conflicts, the availability of churches, and freedom of religion.

Religious tolerance of Belarusians is the national brand of the country, the basis of which had evolved over centuries and was developed through policy of the modern Belarusian state. The country has built a configuration of state-confessional relations that has no ground for competition, discrimination or discord.

The modern confessional structure of Belarusian society is stable and has not undergone substantial change over the past five-ten years. The ongoing inter-faith relations in the Republic of Belarus are of sustainable character.

The proof of this is the outcomes of a sociological survey held on the eve of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly by the Social and Humanitarian Research Centre of the Belarus State Economic University on demand of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (total sampling was 1500 respondents, the error does not exceed 5%).

Based on the said survey, the vast majority of people (over 70% of citizens) remain unconcerned and feels safe from the risk of harassment due to religious beliefs or ethnic discrimination.

The adoption of the 2002 Law of the Republic of Belarus on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations marked the start for the new era in religious and worldview spheres. It has to do with the fact that freedom of conscience is a broader concept than freedom of religion, since it comprises the freedom to choose not only a particular religion (faith), but also a non-religious, atheistic worldview.

Even during pandemic, we are free to attend the preserved and restored numerous churches throughout Belarus which used to belong to different faiths at different times. Smooth neighborhood of a synagogue, an Orthodox and a Catholic church on the same square is common for almost any Belarusian city.

The constructive activity of the church has always been supported by the State. As known, religious associations in the Republic of Belarus are exempted from property tax and land tax, the state assists in restoring churches and places of worship.

The Church has great experience working with the most vulnerable segments of the population, high level of trust within the community, and a significant volunteering potential. The idea of social service is closer than any other to the idea of a social state.