Belarusian theologian Yuliya Nagornova says that “theoretically, if there is a change of power in Belarus, the question could perhaps become as sharp as it is in Ukraine.” And Belarusian historian Anatoly Sidorevich adds that if Belarus becomes truly independent of Russia, its church should become truly independent of Moscow as well.
At present, the Belarusian exarchate has far less autonomy than did Russian Orthodoxy in Ukraine prior to autocephaly and is totally opposed to the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which is dominated by parishes and bishoprics in the emigration. But their conflict might become less severe if autocephaly for a single Belarusian Orthodox church were on offer.
Moscow both patriarch and president are clearly worried about that, and the possibility of autocephaly for Belarus may be on its way to becoming a major argument in favor of some kind of Russian Anschluss. Indeed, only a Russian occupation and absorption of Belarus may be able to prevent the Belarusian church from following the lead of its Ukrainian counterpart.