Date:                           December 4, 2023


Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report  new report on religious freedom conditions in Belarus:

Belarus Country Update – This report provides an overview of religious freedom conditions in Belarus in 2023, including the impact of expanding government repression on religious communities. The religious freedom situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate as Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka subjugates every aspect of social life to the state’s security and bureaucratic apparatuses. In 2023, Belarus’ parliament considered adopting a new religion law that would impose stricter requirements on religious communities and unjustifiably prohibit them from certain religious and political activities. Law enforcement agencies harass Protestants who conduct ordinary religious activities without state approval, and local authorities pressure Roman Catholics by targeting their houses of worship, including Minsk’s iconic Church of Saints Simon and Helena (also known as the Red Church). Christian religious leaders of all denominations are often detained, fined, imprisoned, and forced into exile for activities that the state perceives as political in nature.

In its 2023 Annual Report, USCIRF highlighted the negative trajectory for religious freedom conditions in Belarus. In November 2021, USCIRF released a report that detailed the decline of religious freedom in Belarus following the government’s brutal crackdown on popular anti-government protests in 2020.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..