Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Minsk Prepares to Celebrate Metropolitan Melchizedek (Paevsky)

This coming week the Belorussian Orthodox Church will be organizing events in honor of Metropolitan Melchizedek (Paevsky) of Minsk, a prominent hierarch in the post-Soviet history of the Orthodox Church in Belarus. Metropolitan Melchizedek was elected to the Eparchy of Minsk after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1921 and quickly became popular in Belarus for his preaching and service to his flock.

To protect the Belorussian Orthodox faithful from the warring pro-German, Polish, and Soviet factions then present in the region Metropolitan Melchizedek declared the Belorussian Orthodox Church self-governing in 1922 (the tiny Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church claims to date from this time, though in actuality it was organized with Nazi support during World War II). Metropolitan Melchizedek later returned to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and reposed and was buried in Moscow in 1931.

More (in Belorussian) on Metropolitan Melchizedek's life and the upcoming events in Minsk commemorating him can be found here.

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