ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN BELARUS
Republic of Belarus
National Name: Respublika Byelarus'
Total area: 80,154 sq mi (207,600 sq km)
Population (2008 est.): 9,685,768
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Mensk (Minsk), 1,769,500
Other large cities: Gomel, 502,200; Mogilyov, 374,000; Vitebsk, 355,800; Grodno, 314,100; Brest, 306,300; Bobruysk, 228,100
Monetary unit: Belorussian ruble
Languages: Belorussian (White Russian), Russian, other
Ethnicity/race: Belorussian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1% (1999)
Religion: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
National Holiday: Independence Day, July 3
Literacy rate: 100% (2003 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $105.2billion; per capita $10,900. Real growth rate: 8.2%. Inflation: 8.4%.
Much of Belarus (formerly the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic of the USSR, and then Byelorussia) is a hilly lowland with forests, swamps, and numerous rivers and lakes. There are wide rivers emptying into the Baltic and Black seas. Its forests cover over one-third of the land and its peat marshes are a valuable natural resource. The largest lake is Narach, 31 sq mi (79.6 sq km).
In the 5th century A.D., Belarus (also known as White Russia) was colonized by east Slavic tribes. Kiev dominated it from the 9th to 12th century. After the destruction of Kiev by the Mongols in the 13th century, the territory was conquered by the dukes of Lithuania, although it retained a degree of autonomy. Belarus became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which merged with Poland in 1569. Following the partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795, in which Poland was divided among Russia, Prussia, and Austria, Belarus became part of the Russian empire.
Following World War I, Belarus proclaimed itself a republic, only to find itself occupied by the Red Army soon after its March 1918 announcement. The Polish-Soviet War of 1918–1921 was fought to decide the fate of Belarus. West Belarus was ceded to Poland; the larger eastern part formed the Belorussian SSR, and was then joined to the USSR in 1922. In 1939, the Soviet Union took back West Belarus from Poland under the secret protocol of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact and incorporated it into the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Occupied by the Nazis in World War II, Belarus was one of the war's most devastated battlefields.
When the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded in 1986, 70% of its radioactive fallout fell on the Belorussian SSR. Cancer and other illnesses have multiplied as a result.
Belarus declared its sovereignty in July 1990 and its independence in Aug. 1991. It became a cofounder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Dec. 1991.
Islamic History and Muslims
Islam in Belarus was introduced by Lipka Tatars in the 14th -16th
centuries, and now also includes Muslim immigrants.
Moslems in Belarus Prepare to Celebrate Muhammad's Birthday
"On June 14 and 15, nearly 100,000 Moslems in 25 communities throughout Belarus will celebrate the 1430th anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, Ibragim Kanapatsky, deputy chairman of the Islamic Association of Belarus, has told BelaPAN."
"According to Mr. Kanapatsky, delegates from every part of the country, as well as representatives of the Turkish Embassy, will gather in a mosque in Smilovichi in the Minsk region to discuss problems faced by the Moslems of Belarus. "It is a difficult time for us because of mixed feelings towards Islam in the world, in Belarus too, after the known events in the Caucasus and in other hot spots," the Moslem leader said."
"According to Mr. Kanapatsky, the Islamic Association will concentrate its efforts on building a mosque in Minsk, as well as on renovating the mosque in Smilovichi and Moslem cemeteries throughout the country. Apart from Smilovichi, there are mosques in the towns of Ivye, Slonim, and Novogrudok in the Grodno region; in Kletsk in the Minsk region; and in Vidzy in the Vitebsk region."
Tatar mosque in Navahrudak
Islamic Centers and Organizations
Minsk Mosque, Minsk, 88888888 hjllwwqqwetyuiopp
Al-Kitab (Cultural and Educational Association), Minsk
Muslim Owned Business