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Second object
consising of five parts:

A Box of Religions


Religious Atheism

Contemporary mythology:
Myths about faith
Monumental works:
Monument Unity of Four Confessions in Ivie

Belarus is often portrayed as a multi-religious country. Indeed, today we have more than 3,000 registered religious communities of various faiths and denominations. In addition, the idea of Belarusians’ tolerance towards representatives of other religions is warranted by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus in the article on freedom of religion.

These ideas are expressed in the monument ‘Unity of Four Confessions’ standing in the center of Ivie. At the same time, on average, around only half of Belarusians consider themselves religious and out of those that do the overwhelming majority are Orthodox Christians (85%). Catholics make up 10% and representatives of all other religions only 1.5% which clearly undermines the uniformed myth of representation concerning different religions in Belarus.

Despite the fact that around half of Belarusian citizens consider themselves religious, only 27% of them admit that faith plays an important role in their daily life. According to this indicator, the Republic of Belarus is among the 11 least religious countries in the world. Interestingly, the so-called ‘Orthodox atheis’ is widespread among Orthodox Christians — almost a third of them cannot unequivocally say whether they believe, and 5% of them state they do not believe in God at all. Many of the aforementioned Orthodox Christians and representatives of other faiths do not attend churches often and rarely practice religious rituals or ceremonies (only during major religious holidays). At the same time, pagan beliefs and superstitions are widespread in Belarus and deeply rooted in collective myths and traditions that they form a synthesis with other religions.

The installation includes an alternative version of the monument to the unity of religions. It consists of a box with four religious symbols that can be placed in a container in any desired order: the Pagan symbol of the Sun, the Christian cross, the Muslim crescent, and the Jewish Star of David.
1. Slavic solar symbol-charm ‘alatyr’

2. Monument Unity of Four Confessions in Ivie

© photo: Leonid Prudnikov

3. Stone pagan idol from the village of Lozovka, Pruzhany district. The stone is revered till the present day and a cross has been placed next to it.

© photo: A. Nikitin 

4. Diagrammatic representations of solar pagan symbols on pottery circles

5. Historical example of multiculturalism in Belarus: on the BSSR coat of arms from the year 1927 inscriptions were made in Belarusian, Russian, Polish and Yiddish