The Church On A Cross: How Belarusian priest slept in box


The fate of each character of Belsat TV documentary The Church on the Cross may provide a plotline worthy of a Hollywood movie.

Priest Adam Wojciechowski had a medical degree and spoke twelve languages. He treated not only the soul but also the body, and people greatly appreciated his work.

He served in the village of Klyushchany (Astravets district in Hrodna region). In 1947, the Soviet Union began to seize the temples; he was one of 15 priests who wrote a letter to ‘Mr. Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR’. In the letter, they stressed that the Roman Catholic Church was subject to the Pope, not the Soviet Union.

In response, twenty catholic priests were arrested in Belarus, four were on the run. The villagers secreted Wojciechowski for seven years, until the death of Stalin. Previously, he had been repeatedly persecuted by the Soviet secret police. As a result, in fear of his life, he slept in a special box till the end of his time. This box has survived to this day: you will see it in the film.

And this is just one of the stories about incredibly brave people who contributed to preserving churches in Belarus. The first part of the film is devoted to priests while the second part is about ordinary Soviet citizens, who confronted the then authorities, defending their right to faith and saving the temples.

Directed by Kasia Rastockaja