Of all the Russian Orthodox countries, Belarus has the largest Roman Catholic minority at 15%. Although the Catholic Church survived communism, there is still no agreement between Belarus and the Holy See. The granting of visas for foreign priests and permits for the construction of churches and chapels has been made more difficult.
Although the number of priests has increased from 60 to 400 over the past 26 years, foreign priests are indispensable. However, short visas complicate pastoral care efforts and the recruitment of junior staff. For example, a Polish nun had to leave her community after 16 years for no reason. By contrast, the construction of a parish centre in Mogilev has been able to be continuously supervised for the past four years.
» Efforts to reach understanding help to create a society based on love, hope and comprehension. «
To remedy the shortage of liturgical books in the local language, preparations have begun for the first missal to be published in Belarusian. About one-third of our project funds are funnelled into the procurement of vehicles for the local Church. In addition, we supported the education of a total of 44 seminarians in the country’s two seminaries.