Belarus government underreports church attendance, prelate charges
December 28, 2016
The leading prelate in Belarus, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev, charged that the nation’s government is underreporting Catholic church attendance at Christmas and Easter Masses.
The government, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said in a December 27 letter to internal affairs minister Igor Shunevich, reported that 40,000 attended Christmas Masses in 2016, but the actual number is “many times more.”
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz also expressed concern that the government is painting a false picture of dramatically declining Christmas Mass attendance—from 240,000 in 2011, to 83,000 in 2013, to 40,000 in 2016, according to government statistics.
The nation of 9.6 million is 48% Orthodox and 7% Catholic, with 41% professing no faith.
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