Belarusian Christian Democracy

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Belarusian Christian Democracy
Leader Paval Sieviaryniets
Founded 1917 (as BCDU)
2005 (as BCD)
Headquarters Minsk, Belarus
Ideology Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism
Social conservatism
Pro-Europeanism
Political position Centre-right
National affiliation Belarusian Independence Bloc
European affiliation European Christian Political Movement (associate)
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
Colours          Blue & White
House of Representatives:
0 / 110
Council of the Republic:
0 / 64
Party flag
Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg
Website
www.bchd.info

The Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD, BChD, Belarusian: Беларуская хрысьціянская дэмакратыя) is a Christian-democratic political party in Belarus, established in 2005, which claims to be continuation of a short-lived movement with the same name, which existed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Christian Democratic organizations in Belarus before World War II[edit]

The Belarusian Christian democratic movement was created in early 20th century mostly by Belarusian theology students and seminarians. The Christian democratic circle in Vilna was publishing the weekly newspaper Biełarus.

In 1917 Belarusian political activists in St. Petersburg created the first Belarusian Christian democratic political organization - the Belarusian Christian Democratic Union (Belarusian: Беларуская хрысьціянска-дэмакратычная злучнасьць). Among the founders of the BCDU were the priests Adam Stankievič and Vincent Hadleŭski.

Christian democrats participated in the First All-Belarusian Congress in December 1917 and took active part in preparation for establishment of the independent Belarusian National Republic in 1918.

On November 6, 1927 on the basis of the BCDU a new political party was created in Wilno under the name The Belarusian Christian Democracy. Since then the party was active in West Belarus. While most of other West Belarusian political parties were leftist or even pro-Soviet, the BCD was centre-right.

After unification of West Belarus with the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, many leaders and members of the BCD became victims to Soviet repressions or were killed by Nazis during the later Occupation of Belarus by Nazi Germany. Practically, party ceased all activities in 1939. During the Soviet times, information about the BCD as well as all other non-communist political organizations was kept in secret, with only state-approved historians having access to relevant archives.[citation needed]

Establishment in modern Belarus[edit]

The first attempt to re-establish the BCD took place in 1991. All relevant documents for re-establishment were prepared, but the movement was never registered then.[1]

In 2005 a group of democratic activists created an initiative group to revive the Christian democratic party and are since then active under the brand Belarusian Christian Democracy.

Modern BCD sees promotion of Christian values and Belarusian patriotism in the country as its primary goal. The yet unregistered party is in opposition to president Alexander Lukashenka.

BCD has active contacts with religious groups. Unlike its predominantly Catholic predecessor in early 20th century, the current BCD positions itself as a party uniting also Orthodox and Protestant Christians.

As of 2007, the Belarusian Ministry of Justice has declined to register the political party.[2] Party leadership outlined the religious and geopolitical orientation of its party. Co-leader Vital Rymasheuski stated, " we believe that the laws of the Republic of Belarus should not be contrary to biblical law, and vice versa". [3] Regarding geo-political orientation Co-leader Pavel Sevarinets stated that the party was not seeking pro-Europeans but rather Christians wanting a moral revival. "In Western Europe, there are a set of traditions almost without regard to the Bible and Christianity. It is not [Christian] believers who make up the bulk of the people who vote for the Christian Democrats. But Eastern Europe has recently seen a strong Christian renaissance, and that biblical principles are the basis of Christian Democratic policy." [4]

The BCD has nominated its candidate Vital Rymasheuski at the Belarusian presidential election, 2010.

The party was in favor of depriving the Russian language the status of second state language in Belarus. This important status of the Russian language obtained according to a national referendum in 1995, when for making the Russian language the status of state voted 83.3% of the population who took part in the referendum.

The party has also made very strident comments regarding gender topics and LGBT issues. On June 4, 2016, party leader Pavel Sevarinets gave an interview to Radio Free Europe stating that homosexuality as a social norm will destroy the Belarusian nation, the very idea of gender is just as dangerous as racist propaganda or provoking class warfare and that gay Belarusians dishonor the memory of those died fighting against the USSR and Nazi Germany [5]

Belarusian Young Christian Democrats[edit]

The youth organization of the Young Christian Democrats (YCD) was founded in 2009. The 1st founding Congress took place in May 2010 [6] with participation of more than 50 delegates from all regions of Belarus as well as invited guests. The Congress elected the governing body of the YCD, approved the Statute and developed the strategy for the nearest future. Miss Lubou Kamieneva was elected as the YCD leader. National Board numbered 13 members (10 of them were from the regions). The 2nd Congress was held on November 2012.[7] 75 delegates accepted the new updated Statute, elected new Leader of the organization, Maryna Khomich, as well as set the priorities for next year and introduced plan for public campaigns. Khomich proposed mandatory religious instruction in Belarus schools, with focus on Christian ethics. [8]The 3rd Congress, held on October 2013,[9] summed the results of the previous year’s activities up as well as outlined the plans for 2014-2015, set main guidelines for further projects.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ці прыжывецца ў Беларусі хрысьціянская дэмакратыя?
  2. ^ Об отказе в государственной регистрации Социального общественного объединения «БХД»
  3. ^ http://www.svaboda.org/a/764583.html
  4. ^ http://www.svaboda.org/a/764583.html
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Адбыўся ўстаноўчы з’езд моладзевай арганізацыі БХД (фота)". Афіцыйны сайт Беларускай Хрысціянскай Дэмакратыі (БХД). 
  7. ^ "У Менску адбыўся ўстаноўчы зьезд ГА". Афіцыйны сайт Беларускай Хрысціянскай Дэмакратыі (БХД). 
  8. ^ http://krynica.info/en/2016/04/23/maryna-chomic-by-refusing-religion-lessons-in-schools-belarus-remian-in-soviet-education-system/
  9. ^ "У Менску прайшоў з'езд МХД (фота)". Афіцыйны сайт Беларускай Хрысціянскай Дэмакратыі (БХД). 

External links[edit]