We are all different: those who belong to Belarusian Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant Church, Muslims, Jews or atheists, we all appear different. However, despite this difference, we have one important thing in common that unites us - our country that provides all its citizens with equal rights regardless of their religion or nationality.
The students of the Medical Faculty for international students of our University visited the Memorial Church in honor of All Saints in Minsk for a good reason. It is the main spiritual national memorial in memory of millions of people from Belarus who perished or were scattered around the world due to revolutions, wars, forced relocations and repressions.
The management of the state institution 'Belarusian Cultural Center of Spiritual Revival' and the volunteer group of the faculty 'Voice of the Heart' have reached an agreement on cooperation within the framework of the volunteer movement aimed at voluntary mutual assistance.
This monument-temple which was erected by the whole country is a unique place where the visitors can get acquainted with the culture and heritage of the region, the history of ancestors, their spiritual traditions, say a prayer, recollect their grandparents or share problems and joys. Faith, hope, and love are preached within these walls.
The tour began in the crypt of the memorial temple, which contains the land from the battlefields of all the great historical battles in defense of the Motherland. Meetings are constantly held here, at which the relatives of the victims can honor the memory of relatives who perished in the battlefields. The archive of the church contains information about Belarusians – victims of wars and repressions.
In the crypt of the memorial church there is a museum of memory, which was created with the help of the Ministry of Defense, the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences, parishioners, and Father Fyodor personally (the bishop of the parish since its foundation, Archbishop Fyodor Petrovich Povny).
After the crypt, the tour continued directly inside the temple. The beauty of icons, murals and mosaics simply amaze the visitors with their splendor of colors and a variety of patterns, make them look at every detail with admiration.
None of us noticed how our tour turned into an interesting, exciting and honest conversation in a warm atmosphere. The students asked many questions and got detailed answers. Openness, friendly attitude, willingness to help – these are the qualities that have long been characteristic of the staff of Belarusian Cultural Center for Spiritual Revival and the clergy of the Memorial Church in honor of All Saints.
We all need to learn to preserve and honor historical memory and be grateful to the past. Only then shall we develop a sense of responsibility for the present and the future – of our own and our country.
This place arouses only admiration and enthusiastic emotions, so it is really worth visiting. After all, peaceful goals, prayer and creative work have no confessional affiliation.
Oksana Bogovets, Deputy Dean for Educational Affairs, Faculty of Medicine for International Students, Lakkindu Dissanayake Mudiyanselage, 4th year student of the Medical Faculty of International Students, Photo by Alya Al-Adrai, 2nd year student of the Medical Faculty of International Students