After the presidential election in Belarus on August 9, 2020, which according to the official data, was won by the then President Alexander Lukashenko, mass protests against falsifications began in the country. Believers of various denominations joined these actions. Therefore, the leadership of the country’s religious organizations were faced with the question of determining their attitude toward these actions. The leadership of the largest religious organization in Belarus, the Belarusian Orthodox Church, initially expressed some dissatisfaction with the authorities’ violence. The then exarch of this church, Pavlo, despite congratulating Lukashenko on his election victory, still expressed some sympathy to the protesters. However, after the change of the head of this church, which was carried out on August 25 by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (part of which is the Belarusian Orthodox Church), the situation changed. The new exarch of Belarus, Benjamin, met with Lukashenko and showed a positive attitude towards his regime, although many Orthodox believers and even the priesthood supported the protesters. However, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Belarus condemned the violence of the authorities, upon which the authorities started putting pressure on the Catholic Church. They have isolated its head, Metropolitan Tadevush Kandrusevich, by not allowing him to re-enter the territory of the Republic of Belarus. As for Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Old Believers, and other religious organizations that do not have much influence in Belarusian society, their leaders try to distance themselves from political issues without explicitly supporting either side. However, some members of these denominations, including clergy, participated in the protests.
Kraliuk, Petro and Plyska, Yuriy
"Religious Organizations in Belarus during Protests against the Regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 40
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol40/iss10/3