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Belarus may ban religious symbols in medical settings

January 11, 2017

Doctors and other medical personnel in Belarus may soon be forbidden to display icons in their offices or wear religious symbols such as crosses.

In a letter to the nation’s health minister, Metropolitan Paul of Minsk and Slutsk criticized a proposed revision in medical ethics standards that would lead to the ban.

Describing the proposal as “abusive,” the head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church cited the nation’s constitution, which guarantees religious freedom, and said that “the wearing of the cross and prayer to God before icons constitute a normal and essential part of the life and existence of the Belarusian people.”

The Eastern European nation of 9.6 million is 48% Orthodox and 7% Catholic, with 41% professing no faith.

 
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