Islam in Belarus

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Mosque in Navahrudak.

Islam in Belarus has a long history. It was introduced into the lands which now constitute Belarus by Lipka Tatars in the 14th -16th centuries. As of 2007, there are 45,000 Muslims in Belarus representing 0.5% of the total population.[1]

Modern times[edit]

In 1994, the First All-Belarusian Congress of Muslims was held. As a result, the Muslim Religious Community of the Republic of Belarus was founded. Ever since it has been headed by Dr. Ismail Aleksandrovich.

In 1997 there were 23 communities including 19 of those in the Western regions of Belarus.

In 2007, the Ahmadiyya Muslims were banned from practising their faith openly in the state of Belarus and given a similar status to other banned religious groups in the country. Unable to obtain state registration, Ahmadi Muslims in the country who number about 30 including 13 native Belarusians, cannot conduct their activities formally as a collectivity such as importing or distributing literature, gathering together for prayers or meetings and having an official representative.[2]

Belarus is the only country in Europe to have jailed a newspaper editor for publishing the Danish cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. On January 18, 2008, Alexander Sdvizhkov was jailed for three years for 'incitement of religious hatred'.[3]

Today there are mosques in Smilovichi, Ivye, Slonim, and Novogrudok in the Grodno region; in Kletsk in the Minsk region; and in Vidzy in the Vitebsk region.[4] From 1900 to 1902 a mosque was constructed in Minsk. Sixty years later it was destroyed by the Communists. On November 11, 2016 a replica of the mosque was opened in Minsk.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BELARUS with VNESHINTOURIST Travel Agency -> MOHAMMEDANISM". 12 March 2007. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007.
  2. ^ "Belarus: Ahmadiyya Muslims among banned religious organisations". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  3. ^ Norris, Harry (2009). Islam in the Baltic. I.B. Tauris: London. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-84511-587-6
  4. ^ Moslems in Belarus Prepare to Celebrate Muhammad's Birthday Archived 2014-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "7 Facts About Minsk Mosque To Be Open By Belarus, Turkey Presidents". 10 November 2016.

External links[edit]