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Marzena Jałoza

Życie religijne uchodźców białoruskich wyznania katolickiego w Niemczech Zachodnich w latach 1945–1951


After the Second World War, there were several thousands of Byelorussian displaced persons on the territory of the three occupation zones of Western Germany. Members of the Orthodox church constituted the definite majority while Catholics formed only a small percentage. Nevertheless Byelorussians of Catholic faith took an active part in the religious, social and cultural life of the displaced persons and took steps aimed at the establishment of religious organizations. The faithful Byelorussians dealt with many problems. Especially Catholics adhering to the Latin rite experienced a severe lack of clergy. A group of Byelorussian emigrants established contact with the Holy See and tried to get support from Rome to organize Byelorussian life in the West. A part of the Byelorussian displaced persons favoured the idea of neounion. Given a severe crisis of Byelorussian Orthodoxy in the West, there were efforts to spread the neounion idea among the believers of Byelorussian nationality. In spite of these efforts, the Byelorussian Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite comprised only a small part of the displaced persons.