Belarusians in the United Kingdom

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Belarusians in the United Kingdom
Total population
Belarusian-born residents
1,154 (2001 UK Census)
Other estimates
5,000 (N.Hardzijenka estimate)
Regions with significant populations
Throughout the United Kingdom, especially London, Manchester
Languages
British English • Belarusian • Russian
Religion
Orthodox Church • Roman Catholicism • Greek Catholicism • Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Baltic people, Polish British, Ukrainian diaspora in the United Kingdom, Russians in the United Kingdom

The Belarusian diaspora in the United Kingdom (Belarusian: Беларусы ў Вялікабрытаніі) is composed of Belarusian migrants and British-born people of Belarusian background or descent in the United Kingdom. The 2001 UK Census recorded 1,154 Belarus-born people living in the UK,[1] while one historian estimates that 5,000 Belarusians live in the UK.[2] Nowadays, organised community life exists only in London.

History[edit]

According to researcher Natallia Hardzijenka, the first significant wave of immigration from Belarus to the UK took place in late 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Another significant wave came after the Second World War. A large number of those were former Belarusian military personnel of the Polish Anders Army. According to estimates, ten to twelve thousands of Belarusians arrived to the UK the aftermath of the war. A significant number of them later emigrated to other countries (mainly the US, Canada and Australia).

Community[edit]

Sign at the Belarusian religious mission in London

There have been Belarusian community centres in London, Manchester and Bradford as well as several religious centres.

The Belarusian St. Cyril of Turau Boys' School was active in London in the 1960s and 1970s.[2] This school was reopened in 2015 and has classes for children and adults on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Anglo-Belarusian Society was founded in 1954 to promote contacts between the Belarusian diaspora and the British establishment.[2]

There are several other Belarusian organisations in the UK, including the Association of Belarusians in Great Britain, the Anglo-Belarusian Society and the Professional Union of Belarusians in Britain.

The Belarusian Catholic Mission was established in 1946. In addition to its religious work, it has contributed to various secular initiatives of the Belarusian community in the UK, incl. the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum. The Mission is building the church of St Cyril of Turau and All the Patron Saints of the Belarusian People - the first Belarusian Catholic church outside Belarus and the first wooden church in London since the Great Fire of 1666.

External links[edit]

British people of Belarusian descent[edit]

References[edit]