Temple with double cross: how Orthodoxy and Catholicism united in the village Beryozovka, Dokshytsy district

Temple with double cross: how Orthodoxy and Catholicism united in the village Beryozovka, Dokshytsy district

Religious and Christian tolerance in Belarus became the reason to host the Council of European Bishop's Conferences in our country.

Let’s take a look at the map of Christianity. If there are more Catholic Christians to the west of Belarus and more Orthodox Christians to the east of the country, than Belarus is exactly the land where there is a line between the two confessions.

At the same time, Belarus is the place where these Christian confessions are united. There is a Catholic temple not far from an Orthodox one practically in every Belarusian city or a town. All people greet each other with Christmas and Easter.

Today we want to tell you about a unique temple in Vitebsk region.

The village Beryozovka in Dokshytsy district. It’s a picturesque province where two confessions are united beneath the same roof. This temple is officially considered to be a Catholic church. But actually, both Catholic and Orthodox Christians visit a mass. Today it’s the only Belarusian Catholic church with a double cross of western and eastern churches. It’s improper here to separate people into “us” and “them”. Although there is a difference between two cults, the doors of the church are opened to the Christians of all confessions.  More and more children from Orthodox families come here for catechesis (religious education for children).

The unity of confessions is highlighted by the double cross. Belarusians have such a cross only here, in Beryozovka.

Padre Marek calls it a symbol of unity. It was designed by a local senior priest and an artist Valeriy Schastny.

Marek Pasyut, senior priest of the Catholic church of the Lady of the Gate of Dawn:
We came to an idea that we must do something to make people pay attention at unity. I try to make that sign to appear in Catholic and Orthodox people’s hearts. Tolerance is too little. Jesus wants us to love, not only to be tolerant.

Today there are a bit more than 200 people in Beryozovka. This territory was a part of Poland before the start of World War II. There were more Catholics in those times. Many of them left this place in the times of the Soviet Union. The church was opened 7 years ago and became the place of consolidation of all the people of Beryozovka.