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Lelchitsy Regional Executive Committee
4 August 2020

Religious tolerance in Belarus praised

Today's Belarus is one of the few European countries where one can genuinely feel religious tolerance and harmony in the full sense of the word. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey to Belarus Mustafa Ozcan made the statement as he visited Ivye, one of the first settlements of the Tatar community in Belarus, representatives of the diplomatic mission told BelTA. The town was established about six centuries ago.

The diplomat and his spouse came to attend celebrations of Eid al-Adha – one of the most important Islamic holidays that Muslims celebrate on 31 July – 2 August.

A distribution of the meat of sacrificial animals was arranged in Belarus in association with Turkish authorities on the occasion of the holiday. Meat of three hundred sacrificial animals was handed out to Muslims and people in need in various parts of Belarus.

Mufti of the Muslim Religious Association in the Republic of Belarus Abu-Bekir Shabanovich also attended the event in Ivye.

The Turkish ambassador visited the Ivye Museum of National Cultures and a historical mosque and met with Chairman of the Ivye District Executive Committee Aleksandr Bulak.

The diplomat noted that throughout history representatives of various religions have lived in peace and accord in Belarus, making a valuable contribution to the cultural wealth of the country.

"The careful attitude of Belarusian authorities to the protection and support of religious freedoms should become an example for the entire world," Mustafa Ozcan stressed.

When he visited the museum, the diplomat also left a note in the book of remembrance: "We pay a tribute of respect to the Belarusians of all religious denominations and cultures, who fought for freedom and independence during World War Two."