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Belarus (also known as Belorussia or Byelorussia) /ˈbɛləruːs/ (Belarusian: Беларусь, Russian: Беларусь or Белоруссия) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mahilyow (Mahiloŭ) and Vitebsk (Viciebsk). Forty percent of the country is forested, and its strongest economic sectors are agriculture and manufacturing.
Religion in Belarus
Belarus has no official state religion and religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution. However, the law permits the banning of any religious organization considered to be harmful to the government or society.
Belarus is a Christian-majority country. Most Belaruusians are adherents of the Russian Orthodox Church, a Roman Catholic minority makes up about 10% of the population and is largely concentrated in the west of the country. The Belarusian Greek Catholic Church is followed by about 1% of the population.
Before the Second World War, Jews made up about 40% of the population of Belarus and 50% of the population of some of its cities. Belarus lost nearly 90% of its Jewish population in the Holocaust, consequently, the number of people who practice Judaism in Belarus today is very small, about 1% of the population. There has been a Muslim presence in Belarus, in the form of the Lipka Tatars, since the 14th century. About 0.1% of the people of Belarus are Buddhists.
- The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained. David N. Snyder, Ph.D., 2006.
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