Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

Between two stools
The Belarusian Orthodox Church

Nikolay Mitrokhin

Deutsche Fassung


In the summer of 2020, the Belarusian Orthodox Church failed to adopt a clear position with regard to the conflict that had broken out in the country. Some priests and believers took part in the protests against electoral fraud and the violence employed by the state forces. Others supported the longstanding president, Lukashenka. The church leaders tolerated both positions – and did not change its stance even when the Russian Orthodox Church, to which the Belarusian Orthodox Church is affiliated as a semi-autonomous member church, replaced the head of the church at the end of August. The new exarch, who for the first time is a Belarusian, was not as supportive of the state as Lukashenka had hoped. The Moscow Patriarchate is also not willing to squander its authority in Belarus in order to win the approval of an unpopular dictator.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 223–240)