Gomel Diocese of the Belarusian Orthodox Church
The city of Gomel is one of the oldest centerssettlements in Russia and in modern Belarus. Its roots are lost in the depth of history, but it is known that in the ninth century the territories of the modern Gomel region were subordinated to the Kiev prince. Therefore, after the christening of Russia, Christianity began to spread quickly here. In the end, this led to the fact that an independent Gomel diocese was formed on the territory of the region, a photo of which can be seen in the review.
Ancient History of the Diocese
The first archaeologically confirmed information onthe presence of Christian communities on the territory of the Gomel region dates back to the eleventh century. However, when exactly the first adherents of the church appeared on this territory, it is difficult to say. It is possible that even before the year 988, the official date for the adoption of Christianity by Russia, the missions and communities of believers functioned in the settlements of the region.
In 1054, when the Chernigovthe principality, Gomel entered it as one of the most important cities-fortresses. And in church relation, his parishes and monasteries were ruled by the Chernigov bishop. In addition, a number of territories that today also feed the Homel diocese were subordinated to the Turov and Smolensk departments.
Diocese from the XIVth to the XVIII centuries.
Little is known about the church life of this period. In the 30s of the fourteenth century Gomel joined the Lithuanian principality.
Documents from different centuries mentionvarious orthodox churches of the city. This is the Nikolaevsky cathedral of the end of the fourteenth century, then the Prechistensk temple and the Trinity church of the beginning of the sixteenth century.
In the eighteenth century,building a spiritual school, and a few months later, in 1772, in connection with the division of Poland, Gomel passes under the control of the Russian Crown. In this case, the affairs of the Orthodox Church on its territory are included in the jurisdiction of the Minsk diocese.
Chair in the XIX century
So Gomel exists until the middle of the nineteenthcentury, when it becomes a uyezd center in the Mogilev province. At the same time, new temples are erected on its territory in honor of the First-Ever Apostles Peter and Paul and the Holy Trinity. In total, in the mid-nineteenth century, five Orthodox churches and one monastery functioned in Gomel. The need for spiritual education was satisfied by the spiritual school.
Self-governance Gomel dioceseshe still did not have, her Mogilev bishop directed all her affairs. This position lasted long enough, up to the twentieth century. It was caused by the fact that the number of Orthodox population was not so great for the establishment of an independent department.
Gomel diocese in the 20th century (before 1990)
The situation changed at the beginning of the twentieth century. Due to the increase in population and the construction of a number of new temples, the Gomel diocese has gained some weight. As a result, in 1907, the Gomel Vicariate was established within the Mogilev diocese. This status of the region was preserved even after the revolution of 1917. Only in 1924 the vicar chair emerged from the care of the Mogilev bishop and gained an independent status. Its first ruling bishop became Nikon (Degtyarenko).
But together with independence the Gomel diocesefaced with opposition from the authorities. In 1925 the second ruling bishop Tikhon (Sharapov) was arrested a few months after his appointment to the pulpit. And although he legally remained its head until 1934, the actual administration of the parishes was carried out by other bishops. A little later, with the closing of the cathedral of the First-Ever Apostles Peter and Paul in 1935, the diocese ceased to exist at all.
The short period of the thaw took place during the Secondworld war. At that time, the Gomel diocese of the Belarusian Orthodox Church functioned, which retained the status of an autonomous structure. After the war, it ceased to exist.
Diocese of Homel after 1990
Revival of the full-blooded church life inregion occurred only in the 90-ies. twentieth century. Officially, the Gomel Diocese was restored in 1990 in the status of an independent department, whose canonical territory coincided with the boundaries of the region. The first bishop, called to manage the newly opened diocese, was the Most Reverend Aristarchus (Stankevich) with the title "Gomel and Mozyr".
Two years later, the Mozyr department was taken out of the diocese into an independent structure. As a result, Zhlobin became the second center of the diocese.
In 2007, within the Gomel department, the Rechitsa vicariate was formed by the decision of the Holy Synod, which, however, did not last long - until 2012.
After the death of Archbishop Aristarchus, the chair was headed by Bishop Stefan (Neshcheret).
Gomel Diocese: parishes and deaneries
To date, the department occupiesa significant area and has a large number of believers, so that the direct management of church structures on the ground from the city center is difficult. Therefore, the Gomel diocese, whose parishes are dispersed in many districts of the region, is divided into ten districts-deaneries, whose management oversees all parochial activity and carries out communication of the communities with the administration of the ruling bishop.
Total at the moment in the departmentthere are about 140 temples. In addition, there are four monasteries, three of which are (Tikhvin, Uspensky and Kormyansky) are female and one (Nikolsky) masculine.
Interaction of church and society in Gomel
Between different layers of civil society andchurch structures contact is carried out through the ten specialized departments that are located in the building of the diocesan administration. In addition to these, several commissions are functioning on various issues pertaining to the life of the diocese.
As for church education,subordinate department of the territory there are two youth brotherhoods - the diocesan and the monastery of St. Nicholas. In the same monastery for the laity, educational lectures on spiritual, local history and other relevant topics are regularly read, there is a children's biblical studio and groups for studying the gospel for young people and adults.
At the general-parochial level,various events, for example, the February tournament of intellectual games "Tabor", which has an international status, or a number of events dedicated to the Day of the Orthodox book.
Youth brotherhoods are engaged in the work ofwith pupils of orphanages. A number of priests of the diocese conduct work in places of deprivation of liberty. Also from time to time in the region charity events and other events are held.
An important place in the life of the Gomel department is occupied bypilgrimage activity. On the part of the church leadership, she is supervised by the pilgrimage department. In the framework of the programs offered by the Gomel Diocese, pilgrimage trips to sacred and memorable places for Orthodox places in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Also, groups are regularly sent abroad, for example, to Italy. Annually, young believers travel to France to the interconfessional monastery of Tezet. But the most popular program provided by the Gomel diocese is a trip to Jerusalem to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. However, her schedule provides for visits to other Christian shrines located in the territory of modern Israel.