The Monastery St. Elisabeth arranged a religious procession with Russian flags in Minsk 2023.05.09
Picture of Nicolas

Nicolas

BY 2022.11.03 The Minsk Monastery St. Elisabeth Convent helps the military from the Russian Federation.

Минский монастырь помогает военным из РФ. Вероятно, на собранные деньги закупают также экипировку и технику. Узнали, что происходит

Lemeshonok and Lukashenko-The Face of Neo Nazi and Fascism

Probably, equipment is also purchased with the money raised. Learn what’s going on.

In the Minsk St. Elisabeth Monastery, help is being collected for the Russian military, and letters are written to them with the text “To the dear soldier from Belarus.” This was reported by the telegram channel “Khrystsianskaya vіzіya”. We called a nun who runs a volunteer movement and asked why the church supports the war and does not call for it to be stopped.

monastyr minsk monahini svyato elisavetinskij

The project “Help to Brothers” was opened in the monastery, a volunteer group led by a local nun Alexandra. In the photo from the Khrystsyanskaya Viziya telegram channel, one can see posters on which parishioners are offered to support the military in several ways: bring warm clothes from the list, transfer money “to the skarbonka” or buy a thematic postcard and write a letter.

It is also indicated that the group was created in August 2022 “with the initiative and blessing of the confessor of the monastery, Archpriest Andrei Lemeshonok “.

“For many years, the Minsk Monastery has been providing humanitarian aid to Donbas: the writer Nikolai Gavrilov was appointed head of the direction. However, these fees were declared as an aid to “civilians”. But since August 2022, the monastery has ceased to hide its participation in raising funds for the Russian military, ”says Khrystsyanskaya Viziya.

“In Belarus, people still don’t respond much. In this mode, they are sleeping. Someone, on the contrary, in an opposing mode”

A Zerkalo journalist called nun Alexandra and asked to talk about the project. The woman immediately clarified that in Minsk, the project works to help Moscow volunteers from the Help Brothers group:

– In Moscow, there are mothers who go to the frontline zone and help mainly hospitals and, well, some units that are located in the DPR and LPR. They are in touch with them and collect everything that is needed. Everything is laid out in our telegram channel – what we buy, what we need. Everything can be read there.

Alexandra did not give the name of the project’s Telegram channel over the phone – she promised to reset the link in Viber, but we never received it. There is a Russian Telegram channel with a similar name – “Help to the Brothers (Special Operation)”, which mentions help from the St. Elisabeth Monastery.

“They [at first] asked us to pray for the Russian soldiers—they also send lists of who to pray for who is wounded, who is in captivity, somewhere else. We immediately began to pray and then began to pass on what we had in the monastery so superfluous – some medicines, things. And then somehow people began to respond, and we have already decided to give them everything we have – money, we write letters to them.

“At first, I thought it was helping the civilian population. I did not expect that the military.

– Well, the fact is that these [Moscow] sisters were immediately blessed to take care of the wounded soldiers. And, you know, when people get out of there, they also need some things. And then they got to know each other, they returned back there [to the front] and began to help them. To [help] the civilian population – it is necessary to organize a separate group. I already thought about it, but we can’t do it. Under the Help for Brothers project, we simply hand over to the sisters in Moscow what we have collected here in Belarus. It’s once every two weeks.

Photo from the telegram channel "Khrystsianskaya vіzіya"

Letters and transmissions to the Russian military, are collected in Minsk. 
Photo from the Telegram channel “Khrystsianskaya vіzіya”

Nun Alexandra explained that the monastery does not have the opportunity to organize a separate group to collect aid for the civilian population – “you need at least 10 people. You need to collect these things, repack, sign, find where to store them, and you need big cars to carry them.” And she suggested if there is a desire to take up this direction to “worldly people,”.

“The humanitarian aid is constantly donated to us at the monastery, but everything has to be sorted out and looked at. Naturally, [to the Donbas] you need to bring things according to the season – you can’t put shoes with heels or fashionable jackets for people in military conditions. Very little men’s clothing is donated. Everything that they bring to us is distributed among people, boarding schools, orphanages, and farmsteads, which we have requested. We also need to provide them.

It happens that people heard somewhere that we are collecting something for the front, and they come: “We want to donate shoes or sweaters.” But in principle, in Belarus, people still don’t respond strongly somehow – in this mode, they are sleeping, and someone, on the contrary, is in an opposing mode. We want to help and help in any way we can. So far, we have connected to the sisters from Moscow because we know them. They complete everything and sign it: for one hospital, for the second, for someone to be discharged, for some kind of front-line unit. We receive amounts, things according to the list – we transfer them there, – says Alexandra.

Photo from the telegram channel "Khrystsianskaya vіzіya"

Photo of postcards and a banner, which also indicates the St. Elisabeth Monastery,
from the telegram channel “Christian Vision”

“Ukrainian soldier, Russian soldier, Belarusian soldier – it’s all the same. Isn’t it for you?”

– The Church should not support the war but, on the contrary, should try to stop it. And you help the Russian military.

— Well, you see, the church has always been… What does it mean to support or not support? We also do not support the war – we just help the sisters who are engaged in precisely helping people in need right now. We do not support any military actions or something else – we do not say or do anything about this, you understand? The Church has always been for its people. The Russian people are now, probably, in the stage of some kind of defense or war. And the church, of course, helps and does everything that they ask for for the needy. You see, we help those who ask us.

– The Russian people could just stay at home and not go to Ukraine. Then there would be no need to help anyone.

– Sister, we will not discuss these issues now (laughs). I won’t even think about it. This is a question for the Russian people – it is not ours. We know a specific group that helps in hospitals, front-line places in Russia. They are doing a great job because the conditions there are quite tough, and people need help. And we help the sisters who help these people. They don’t [help] the war there – you’re already exaggerating this situation a little.

“You don’t collect aid for the Ukrainian military, but they also suffer there.

— Well, if it were possible, we would probably send it to any person who needs it. Ukrainian soldier, Russian soldier, Belarusian soldier – it’s all the same. Isn’t it for you? Rus’, Ukraine, Belarus – aren’t they the same people? If, of course, a Ukrainian soldier needed some shoes or a sweater, we would give it to him. We do not hand over machine guns or anything else to one side or the other. You see, the military – they are people. They have such a profession. We do our duty, and they do their duty. Just when a person is barefoot, hungry, or cold, of course, we help everyone. The Ukrainian side does not turn to us for help!

Why don’t you call on the Russian military to stop the war?

The Church has always called and still calls to resolve everything peacefully. We always call for this, you understand? I say: if you have acquaintances from Ukraine and you can send some warm things, medicines there, please come, we will give everything that we have. For us, there is no difference: Russian, Ukrainian, or Belarusian soldiers. All are our family members. What is happening between them is very difficult now. We don’t [get into it]. Let them figure it out themselves. We pray that these hostilities will stop, and we want to help everyone.

– You write “dear soldier” in your letters. If you didn’t support the war, you probably wouldn’t write like this. They are killing people there.

—  (pause) People are being killed from one side and the other. You see, you may come to the monastery. We will talk with you here. It is very difficult to say this over the phone – a very long conversation. You need some time for this. You have a lot of questions.

– I have a very simple question. I’m surprised the church supports the war.

– We do not support the war – this is your version. We help people in need. We do not collect money for any weapons. We do not want them to fight. On one side and on the other, they are our brothers. Both Ukrainians and Russians. There are Belarusians there. We do not support the war – where does it say that?

In the telegram channel “Help to the Brothers (Special Operation)”, a user signed as a nun Evgenia posted a photo of the money raised in early October and thanked the sisters of the St. The kids can’t do without them. The technology war is on.”

The group also posted a video (you can watch it below), where a man in military uniform thanks for the donated items, medicines, a donation for “armor protection,” and a helmet. This post also mentions the Minsk St. Elisabeth Monastery – it is thanked for the assistance provided (as is the Solovetsky Monastery).

– By sending money to Russian soldiers, you support them to continue to kill Ukrainians who are defending their land in this war.

– I say again: we do not collect for weapons – we collect for naked, barefoot people in need of medicines, do you understand? And the fact that worldly people are also in need now on the frontline territory, this help also goes to them. Because any Russian soldier, it doesn’t matter if he is Ukrainian by nationality, Belarusian, or Russian, he doesn’t care if he has something in his first-aid kit, [will give it to the civilians]. Just imagine: a person comes to us and asks for food or clothes. Maybe he stole something from you or killed someone – we don’t ask him that. A man is barefoot and hungry – should we not feed him, or should we not clothe him?

– You said that you prayed for the military. Only for Russians?

Of course, we pray for everyone. All the names that are sent – we do not find out who it is, and we pray for everyone. We pray that people will stop killing each other and that the war will end. Please, write lists,” Alexandra suggested. – If you need help or the soldiers who are on the Ukrainian side, come and write. For us, there is no difference. We do not help the military in any way, with weapons, but to clothe, put on shoes, feed – this is, please.

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Source: Зеркало
2022.11.03 # The Minsk Monastery St. Elisabeth Convent helps the military from the Russian Federation.

Reviewed Oct. 2023
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