KOPYS, 25 April (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko lit a candle at the Transfiguration Church in the village of Kopys, Orsha District, on Easter, 24 April, BelTA has learned.
Unlike Christmas holidays, Aleksandr Lukashenko usually visits small churches outside the Belarusian capital on Easter. The head of state arrived at the church with his youngest son Nikolai. Archbishop Dimitriy of Vitebsk and Orsha and Father Sergiy, archpriest, met the president at the church.
Aleksandr Lukashenko lit a candle in the church and congratulated the Orthodox believers on Easter. The president presented the church with an icon, and the clergy gave the head of state a festive souvenir - Easter eggs. Aleksandr Lukashenko also talked to the parishioners.
“I noticed from your faces that today indeed is the kindest and most beloved day. It has always been so. Easter has always given people hope. Hope for justice and happiness. Hope lives in our hearts to this day, in every person. Not only in Belarus,” the president said.
The head of state emphasized that this great holiday of Easter and the secular holiday of Victory Day, which he considers to be equal, are always in the heart of every Belarusian. “It is a custom to celebrate this holiday together with one's loved ones and close friends. That is the reason why I have come today to this holy, native land, where I was once born. Many times I and my friends used to come to the temple that stood here to watch our mothers celebrating this holy holiday,” Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled his childhood years.
The Transfiguration Church was opened in Kopys in autumn 2018. The two-domed church in the traditions of wooden architecture was built on the site of the old church in less than a year. Externally, the new church resembles the previous one. According to historical sources, the Orthodox church in the village was built in 1694.
The interior of the rebuilt church features a new iconostasis, but many items have survived from the old decorations. There is also a special relic: the Iverskaya icon of the Mother of God, painted on a tile board. It is a tribute to the traditions of Kopys, which used to be one of the centers of ceramics production in Belarus.