A. THE COUNTRY
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked, fertile agricultural land in
Europe. Often called “Europe’s last dictatorship”, Belarus is a
republic in name only. Political leadership still clings to the
Communist past as Russia continues to dominate into the post-Soviet era.
There is little economic decentralization. The country has
traditionally strong industrial and agricultural bases. It is heavily
dependent on trade with its closest ally, Russia. The Chernobyl,
Ukraine, nuclear disaster of 1986 affected Belarus most severely and it
is still impacted by economic and health consequences.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~9,588,000 and official languages Belarusian and
Russian (more widely used).
~97.9% are Slavic (Belarusian, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian), ~2.1% All
other peoples (mostly from the former USSR).
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
There is very little religious freedom despite its guarantee in the
constitution. A 2002 law makes non-registration of religious
congregations illegal, and registration is a tedious, expensive and
occasionally impossible process. There is outright hostility toward
Protestants. ~70.53% claim to be Christians, ~28.14% Non-religious,
~0.61% Muslim, ~0.51% Jewish, ~0.11% Other, ~0.1% Baha’i.
In the Christian category:
~57.83% are Orthodox, ~10.44% Catholics, ~1.36% Protestant, ~0.81%
Evangelicals represent ~1.3% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~1.2% and of those 1% are Pentecostals.
In the Christian category, Protestants are the only ones increasing.
All others are losing ground.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.