Andrei Lemeshonok and Alexander Lukashenko at St. Elisabeth Convent
Picture of Nicolas


BY 2020.08.25 A collective Protest of the parishioners of the St. Elisabeth Monastery on the actions of Priest Andrei Lemeshonok

Коллективное обращение прихожан Свято-Елисаветинского монастыря митрополиту о действиях протоиерея Андрея Лемешонка


His Eminence,
Most Reverend Paul,
Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus

Collective Appeal

We, the parishioners and employees (present and former) of the St. Elisabeth Monastery in Minsk, ask you to look into and take action against the spiritual father of the monastery, Archpriest Andrei Lemeshonok, who, in his conversations, appeals, and sermons openly speaks out about his personal, civic position, about political situation not only in our country but throughout the world. The sermons have turned into political information. Often in his statements, Andrei Lemeshonok operates with unconfirmed and unproven facts. Recordings of his conversations, addresses, and sermons are available on the YouTube channel and the monastery’s website. They are actively distributed through social networks.

On August 21, 2020, on the website of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, an explanation was published by the Synodal Department of the Belarusian Orthodox Church for relations between the Church and society regarding the participation of believers in public and political life. This document states that “any statements in connection with the current difficult situation in the Republic of Belarus made by individual representatives of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, both clergy and laity, are a form of expression of their personal, civic position and reflect only the personal view of the applicants on what is happening. All these statements do not reflect the official position of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and they should not be taken or interpreted in the interests of any party,” and,

The activity of St. Elisabeth Monastery has long gone beyond its inner walls. Many laity work here. The monastery is known not only in Belarus but also far beyond its borders. The audience that listens to sermons and talks online reads the texts published on the site and covers almost the whole world. Expressing his personal, civic position and political views, Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok passes it off as the position of the entire monastery: monks, employees, and the entire clergy. Some listeners also perceive it as the official position of the Belarusian Orthodox Church since nowhere is it said that the Belarusian Orthodox Church does not support the statements of Archpriest Andrei Lemeshonok.

As evidence that Andrei Lemeshonok is voicing his position on behalf of the entire monastery, you will be sent an audio recording of the meeting for employees, which took place on August 18, 2020. All employees of the monastery were forcibly called to this meeting. It was assumed that people would be able to speak out, but it was a monologue by Andrei Lemeshonok, who said that the whole monastery agreed with all his statements. All those who disagreed were asked to leave, and the cleric of the monastery was not allowed to speak.

There are also other points in this entry that we ask you to pay attention to: the tone, the appeal, and the inability to express your opinion on any issue. Disagreement is suppressed and prosecuted. The greatest concern and anxiety are caused by the frequent phrase of Father Andrei: “I prayed, and God revealed to me.” With this argument, Father Andrei explains almost any of his decisions and opinions, both on spiritual and general organizational, economic, and financial issues of the monastery. We ask you to evaluate these words and actions.

Thus, a split formed among the staff and parishioners of the monastery, expressed in open rejection and persecution of a different civic position. The schism is provoked and fueled by the actions and words of Archpriest Andrei Lemeshonok.

We also want to express our indignation at the non-compliance with measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection in St. Elisabeth Monastery. Social distancing measures, wearing masks, and communion with the sterilization of a liar were not purposefully observed at the height of the pandemic by the decision of Andriy Lemeshonok. The confessor of the monastery urges his flock not to be afraid of anything as they follow Christ.  Church members who are afraid are condemned.

We love St. Elisabeth Monastery very much and want to remain its parishioners. But in the current situation, they are forced to visit other temples.


With respect and love for the Lord,
Parishioners and employees of St. Elisabeth Monastery.

2020.08.25 # Collective Protest of the parishioners of the St. Elisabeth Monastery on the actions of Priest Andrei Lemeshonok

Read More:
2020.11.27 # Father Andrey Yavorets about the statements of father Andrey Lemeshonok

Reviewed Oct. 2023