Traditionally, there exist both Christian confessions in Belarus (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Old Belief, Protestantism) and non-Christian ones (Islam and Judaism).
In the 1990s, Belarus was the scene of impetuous, difficult and contradictory processes. The religious revival process must be mentioned especially. Many people started looking for new spiritual values for themselves.
As of 2001, 26 religious confessions have been officially registered in Belarus. The number of religious communities has increased as compared to 1998: there were 800 of them in 1989, and 2748 in October 2001, i.e. the increase is more than 3.3 times.
At present, there are also 138 religious organizations in Belarus of pan-confessional importance (religious associations, monasteries and nunneries, congregations, convents, missions, theological educational establishments).
Orthodoxy is a most ancient Christian faith on the Belarusian lands. It came here at the end of the 10th century with the establishment of the Polatsk episcopacy (992 A.D.). At the beginning of the second millennium, major areas of the Orthodox Church activities were identified, there appeared church-owned lands, and eparchy-based division. The Eparchies of Polatsk, Turau and others, which, at various times, included Belarusian lands, were subordinate to the Kiev Metropolitanate, whose relative integrity lasted until the middle of the 15th century. In 1472, the Orthodox Church of Poland and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was canonically recognized by the Patriarch of Constantinople.
From the end of the 13th century to the middle of the 16th century, nearly forty Orthodox monasteries were founded in Belarus' territory, some of them being real centers of parish and religious life, education, and icon painting. After establishment in 1596 of a new Uniate church, that united both Orthodox and Catholic traditions, the Orthodox Church found itself in a very difficult situation in Belarus. In 1632, the Sejm Walny (General) of the Rzeczpospolita and the privileges of the king Wladislaw IV sanctioned the official renewal of the activities of the Belarusian-Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchy. Orthodox eparchies were established, their centers being in Lutsk, Peremyshl, Lvov and Mogilev.