George Repetski: Protestantism on Belarusian Soil
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.38-44)
Protestantism was introduced in Belarus almost 600 years ago in the face of Jerome of Prague. Almost 100 years later, the disciples of Jean Kalvin visited Belarus and with the help of well-known families of the Belarusian nobility began to spread Protestant ideas and teachings. Protestant communities were organized which built houses of worship in many places of Belarus. This all happened within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), which contributed to the religious tolerance and to the impact on the political and economic development of the GDL. Influenced by the Counter-Reformation, many of the Belarusian nobility over time moved to Catholicism, especially when creating the Commonwealth, when united in one two states of the Poland and the GDL. Protestants for a second time appeared in the Belarusian lands in the nineteenth century, and they came from different sources. When the Soviet Union, most Protestants were severely repressed and only on the decay of the state they have received full authorization for the existence and activities of today’s Belarus.