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16.03.12 / The 46th International Tourism Fair, «ITB Berlin 2012», which took place from March 7 to 11 in Berlin, once again confirmed its status as the world's biggest tourism and services exhibition.
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Between the East and the West
Lying between the East and the West, the North and the South, Belarus was historically situated at the junction of cultures and believes. Mentality of the Belarusian people was formed in the conditions of multinational contacts; tolerance, ability to understand and respect other religions, traditions and cultures, became its main feature.
The population of Belarus is about 10 million people. In the terms of ethnic composition, Belarusians make up the majority, Russians are the next in numbers, then Poles and Ukrainians; Tatars, Lithuanians and representatives of other nationalities also live in the country.
The majority of the citizens of Belarus are Christians: Orthodox, Catholic and Uniates. The Uniate Church is unique in its way; it unites Catholic and Orthodox traditions. In a certain period of history, the foundation of the Uniate Church allowed to avoid a religious split in the society. Other Christian Churches – Calvin, Lutheran and Baptist – are present to a smaller extent. There are also Jewish and Muslim communities, a small number of Buddhists and Krishnaists. Altogether, there are 26 religions.
The territory of Belarus is crossed by the Struve Arc, a man-made monument of geodesy, gravimetry, geodynamics and cartography, inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The Struve Arc, laid in the 19th century by the efforts of several countries, stretched along a meridian from the Arctic Ocean to the Danube and served for precise calculations of the size and form of the Earth. The nineteen points of the Arc have survived in Belarus; it is more than in any other country, which the Arc crosses.
The Republic of Belarus is a multiconfession country. Today there are 26 confessions (15 Protestant confessions). The most numerous are: Orthodox (1224 communities), Catholic (432 communities), Christian confession of the evangelist believe (491 communities), evangelic confession of Christian-Baptists (270 communities). There are also old believers (35 communities), Mussulmans (27 communities), Israelites (25 communities), Greeks-Catholics (14 communities), Lutherans (17 communities), Mormons, Krishnas and representatives of other confessions.
The traditional religions are: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Judaism, and Islam. 50% of the population is believers: among them 80% of Orthodox, 14% of Catholics and 2% of Protestants. Today there are 983 churches, 135 are under construction, and 347 Catholic churches, 38 are under construction.
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