Islam in Belarus
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|Islam by country|
Islam in Belarus has a long history. It was introduced into the lands which now constitute Belarus by Lipka Tatars in the 14th -16th centuries. Today, there are 45,000 Muslims in Belarus representing 0.5% of the total population.
In 1994, the First All-Belarusian Congress of Muslims was held. As a result, the Muslim Religious Community of the Republic of Belarus was founded. Ever since it has been headed by Dr. Ismail Aleksandrovich.
In 1997 there were 23 communities including 19 of those in the Western regions of Belarus.
Belarus is the only country in Europe to have jailed a newspaper editor for publishing the Danish cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. On January 18, 2008, Alexander Sdvizhkov was jailed for three years for 'incitement of religious hatred'.
Today there are mosques in Smilovichi, Ivye, Slonim, and Novogrudok in the Grodno region; in Kletsk in the Minsk region; and in Vidzy in the Vitebsk region. From 1900 to 1902 a mosque was constructed in Minsk. Sixty years later it was destroyed by the Communists. On November 11, 2016 a replica of the mosque was opened in Minsk.
- Norris, Harry (2009). Islam in the Baltic. I.B. Tauris: London. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-84511-587-6
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