Belarusian Orthodox Church

The Belarusian Orthodox Church (BOC; Belarusian: Беларуская праваслаўная царква, romanizedBielaruskaja pravaslaŭnaja carkva, Russian: Белорусская православная церква, romanizedBelorusskaya pravoslavnaya tserkva) is the official name of the exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus.[2] It represents the union of Russian Orthodox eparchies in the territory of Belarus and is the largest religious organization in the country, uniting the predominant majority of its Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Belarusian Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate
Беларускі Экзархат Маскоўскага Патрыярхата
Белорусский Экзархат Московского Патриархата
TypeEastern Orthodox
ScriptureSeptuagint, New Testament
TheologyEastern Orthodox theology
Bishops17 (2020)
Parishes1,612 (2015)
Priests1,676 (2019)
Dioceses15 (2019)
Monasteries35 (2019)
HeadquartersHoly Spirit Cathedral, Minsk
Territory Belarus
Origin11 October 1989 (autonomy granted by the Moscow Patriarchate)
RecognitionRecognised as part of the Russian Orthodox Church
Members81% of the Belarusian Christian population, according to own claims[1]

Bishop Vienijamin (Vital Tupieka) became the Patriarchal Exarch of the Belarusian Orthodox Church in 2020.[3]

The church enjoys a much lower degree of autonomy than the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is a semi-autonomous entity associated with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Belarusian Orthodox Church strongly opposes the minor and largely emigration-based Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

Structure Edit

Structurally, the Belarusian Orthodox Church consists of 15 eparchies:

  • Eparchy of Babruysk and Bykhaŭ
  • Eparchy of Barysaŭ
  • Eparchy of Brest and Kobryn
  • Eparchy of Hrodna and Vaukavysk
  • Eparchy of Homel and Zhlobin
  • Eparchy of Lida
  • Eparchy of Minsk
  • Eparchy of Mahiliou and Mstsislau
  • Eparchy of Maladzyechna
  • Eparchy of Navahrudak
  • Eparchy of Pinsk and Luninets
  • Eparchy of Polatsk and Hlybokaye
  • Eparchy of Slutsk
  • Eparchy of Turau and Mazyr
  • Eparchy of Vitsebsk and Orsha

Criticism and controversies Edit

The Belarusian Orthodox Church has been criticised for promoting Russification and for supporting the authoritarian government of Alexander Lukashenko.[citation needed] In a statement from 2023, the exiled Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic accused the Belarusian Orthodox Church of failing to condemn violence in Belarus following the 2020–2021 Belarusian protests and of interfering in the affairs of other Christian churches and thereby being "the main source of inter-religious tension in Belarus".[4] The Rada characterised the church as "a Russian colonial institution" and "one of the ideological pillars of A. Lukashenka's regime".[4][non-primary source needed]

In 2022 and 2023, the Orthodox St Elisabeth Convent in Minsk has been holding public events supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine[5] and raised funds to support Russian troops.[6][7] The convent has also been involved in promoting Russian irredentism,[8][failed verification] homophobia,[9][10] and other controversies.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Белорусский экзархат — 30 лет истории / Интервью / Патриархия.ru".
  2. ^ Zaprudnik, Jan (27 August 2003). "Belarus: in search of national identity between 1986 and 2000". In Korosteleva, Elena; Lawson, Colin; Marsh, Rosalind (eds.). Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship. London: Routledge (published 2003). p. 119. ISBN 9781135789480. Retrieved 2 June 2021. Orthodox Christian believers are organised in the Belarusian Orthodox Church (BOC), since 1989 an exarchate [...].
  3. ^ ВЕНИАМИН, МИТРОПОЛИТ МИНСКИЙ И ЗАСЛАВСКИЙ, ПАТРИАРШИЙ ЭКЗАРХ ВСЕЯ БЕЛАРУСИ - "Решением Священного Синода от 25 августа 2020 г. (журнал № 46) назначен Патриаршим Экзархом всея Беларуси, митрополитом Минским и Заславским, с сохранением временного управления Борисовской епархией.
    Возведен в сан митрополита Святейшим Патриархом Московским и всея Руси Кириллом 6 сентября 2020 г. за Божественной литургией в кафедральном соборном Храме Христа Спасителя в городе Москве."
  5. ^ У Свята-Елізавецінскім манастыры правялі Z-канцэрт. На сцэне былі партрэты «Матаролы», Захарчанкі, Пушыліна [A Z-concert held in the St Elisabeth Convent. Portraits of Motorola, Zakharchenko and Pushilin were on the stage] - Nasha Niva, 18 June 2023
  6. ^ У Польшчы працягваецца збор галасоў супраць гандлю менскага Свята-Елізавецінскага манастыра [Signatures are being collected in Poland against St Elisabeth Convent participation in trade fairs] - Radio Racyja
  7. ^ «Хрысьціянская візія»: З красавіка Сьвята-Лізавецінскі манастыр мог паўдзельнічаць у набыцьці 7 аўтамабіляў для расейскіх вайскоўцаў [St Elisabeth Convent may possibly participated in acquiring seven vehicles for Russian troops] - Radio Svaboda, 16 August 2023
  8. ^ A. Čytač (24 May 2017). "Праваслаўная царква прапагандуе "Адзіную Русь святую" ФОТА" [The Orthodox church promotes the "United Holy Rus" (PHOTOS)]. Nasha Niva (in Belarusian). Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  9. ^ Galkovskaya, Anna (10 March 2020). ""Гэта крык сэрца і душы бацькоў". Подведены итоги сбора подписей против ЛГБТ-пропаганды" ['This is the cry of parents' heart and soul'. The results of collection of signatures against LGBT propaganda have been drawn]. Пролайф Беларусь (in Russian). Retrieved 28 August 2023.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Vaitovich, Maryia (27 March 2020). "Over 52K signatures under controversial appeal for 'LGBT propaganda ban'". Retrieved 28 August 2023.

External links Edit