Belarus

Belarus

CLICK HERE for Country Information and History

Area: (slightly less than twice the size of Kentucky; slightly smaller than Kansas), total: 207,600 sq km (80,255 sq miles), land: 202,900 sq km (78,340 sq miles), water: 4,700 sq km (1,815 sq miles)

Population: 9,570,376 (July 2016 est.)

Population growth rate:  -0.21% (2016 est.)

Capital City: Minsk

Independence Day: 25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

Ethnic Groups: Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9%

Languages Spoken: Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3%

Life Expectancy at Birth: total population: 72.7 years / male: 67.2 years / female: 78.6  years (2016 est.)

Religious Groups:

  • Eastern Orthodox 48.3%
  • Catholic 7.1%%
  • other 3.5%
  • non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)

After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than have any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country’s first and only directly elected president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means and a centralized economic system. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place. The situation was somewhat aggravated after security services cracked down on mass protests challenging election results in the capital, Minsk, following the 2010 presidential election, but little protest occurred after the 2015 election.

(SOURCE: The CIA Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.)

Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship

EEMN Serving in Belarus
Christian Evangelism remains illegal within the borders of Belarus. Yet, the hearts of the faithful within Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship (BLMF) and our EEMN partner in ministry, Pr. Valery Hryhoryk continue to strive forward in building the Body of Christ!
Only state registered congregations are allowed to gather in their officially registered building for worship and Bible study. Furthermore, only registered members of the congregation may participate, otherwise fines and imprisonment may result due to their “illegal” activity. The congregation that meets in Pr. Hryhork’s garage remains illegal because their applications for official registration have been refused 4-times in a row. Despite these significant challenges Pr. Hryhoryk and his co-workers in ministry are making a real impact in Belarus.
They have been able to successfully share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ through music evangelism that shares biblical truths on life and relationships. They are also regularly invited to participate in official state celebrations to share their brand of popular music with a “positive message.” BLMF also regularly hosts “jam sessions” for youth, where they can gather for fellowship and also engage in conversations about “spiritual things” that eventually lead to an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ.
Pr. Valery Hryhoryk & Family - Vitebsk, Belarus

Pr. Valery Hryhoryk & Family – Vitebsk, Belarus

Because of the anti-evangelism laws, EEMN has been unable to host English Bible Camps in Belarus. This is why we are especially excited to announce that we will host students from Belarus to participate in our 2017 English Bible Camp in Latvia! The possibility for this opportunity is a direct result of our expanding network of ministry partners who are working together to strengthen each other’s ministries. The EEMN brokered relationship that has recently formed between Pr. Hryhoryk and St. Gregors Christian Missions Center Director, Pr. Raimonds Mezins, in Saldus, Latvia led to this cooperative language camp effort, along with our seeking invitations from Striki School Director, Daina Zandberga and Saldus Region Mayor, Indra Rassa.

 

 

 

NEW EEMN MISSIONARIES TO BELARUS! Kristina Liaschova is Belorussian by birth and she served several years with our EEMN ministry partner, Pr. Valery Hryhoryk and the Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship (BLMF). Two years ago Kristina moved to Slovakia and began serving with SEM (Slovak Lutheran Youth Ministries). Along the way, Kristina met her future Slovak husband, Tomasz Kuziel. Kristina and Tomasz married in December 2016 and just moved to Vitebsk, Belarus in order to serve as missionaries sent by both, SEM ad EEMN. You can expect to hear more about Kristina and Tomasz, once they begin their residential ministry in Belarus. EEMN is seeking $250 monthly missionary support for Kristina and her husband for their new ministry in Belarus! Visit the EEMN Support page today!