The Uprising of 1863–1864 provoked not only the tsarist reaction in the Belarusian lands, but above all the nation-building processes that started here late (compared to the rest of Europe), but led to the formation of the Belarusian nation. The ethnological and historical reconstruction and analysis of ethnographic statistics of the nineteenth century relating to Belarusian Old Believers are very interesting in this regard. On the one hand, Old Believers were strangers from Russia and Muscovy, and therefore enemies of the idea of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and committed adherents of the Russian idea.
On the other hand, persecuted and driven from Muscovy, and having found refuge in the territory of Belarus, many Old Believers were integrated, even assimilated, with the Belarusians. During the Uprising of 1863–1864 not all Old Believers supported the tsarist government. Statistics, journalistic and ethnographic data from the nineteenth century illustrate the ambiguity of the role of Old Believers in Belarus. In addition, statistics and the First General Census of the Russian Empire in 1897 recorded a certain ‘Belarusianization’ of Old Believers, their active participation in the Belarusian nation-building process.