World-renowned Belarusian monastery shut down amid pandemic

Would-be pilgrims are asked to postpone their visits to the Orthodox Holy Dormition Monastery in Zhyrovichy (Slonim) till the things get better.

“Dear brothers and sisters, we would like to inform you that the Zhyrovichy monastery and its houses of pilgrims have suspended the reception of visitors until May, 10 due to the epidemiological situation in the world,” the representatives of the reputed Belarusian sanctuary say on Facebook.

Христос Воскресе!⠀Дорогие братья и сестры, извещаем вас о том, что Жировичский монастырь и дома паломников…

Opublikowany przez Zhirovichi Monastery Poniedziałek, 20 kwietnia 2020


Earlier it became known that Huryi, Archbishop of Navahradak and Slonim, was hospitalised and admitted in the intensive care unit. He is also the deputy of the Zhyrovichy monastery and the rector of the Minsk Theological Seminary which is located in its territory. His diagnosis has not been disclosed, but there are unofficial reports that the hierarch was tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Although Metropolitan Pavel called on Belarusian Orthodox believers to stay at home on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday (i.e. over the past weekend), many people went to churches throughout the country.

As of April 20, the number of the people who contracted the coronavirus infection has totalled to 6,264 in Belarus, 51 COVID-19 patients have died. However, the Belarusian authorities have not introduced any tough quarantine measures yet. According to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, imposing a nationwide lockdown would not improve the coronavirus situation in Belarus. In his opinion, such steps might deal a crippling blow to the daily life of Belarusians.

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