Temple in the context of soviet architecture
The remains of Edvard Voinilovich, the founder of the Red church were brought from the Polish city Bydgoszcz to Minsk. To that end more than thousand people have gathered in the square of Independence in Minsk. The reburial of the remains of the representative of a very famous Byelorussian family took place in the crypt of the church.
The temple of the Saint Simeon and Elena, usually called by the Minsk citizens as the Red Church, is adored by both, the local citizens and tourists. Surrounded by grey governmental buildings, constructed during the times of „developed socialism“, the Red Church distinguishes by its elegant style.
Edvard Voinilovich together with his wife allocated for the construction of the temple nearly all their fortune – 100 thousand rubles. For Voinilovich, who in 1906 was elected a member of the State Council of the Russian empire from Minsk region, and for his wife the temple became a symbol of recollection of their two children (Simeon and Elena), who perished in their very young age.
However, after the establishment of the soviet power, the sufferings of the temple started and lasted for many years. Initially, the temple was embezzled: everything was taken out from it – from icons to inkpots. After some time local bolsheviks simply handed over the temple to the state polish theater and afterwards a film study „Soviet Belarus“ was established there.
After the war the church was closed for a very long time and then again was given to the soviet film propagandists. Only in 1990, when the soviet system in the land of Belarus started falling down, the church was returned to the confederation.
Nearly 80 years the remains of the founder of the church Edvard Voinilovich were kept in Polish city Bydgoszcz. The idea of the removal of the remains from Poland to Belarus was approved by the cardinal Kazimir Sventek, the head of the Roman catholic church in Belarus. The approval should also be received from the Byelorussian authorities: the removal of the remains was approved by the Minsk executive committee, the Committee on religious issues and minors, the ministry of culture and foreign affairs.
During the ceremony, organized in the event of the reburial of the remains, the head of the Red Church Vladislav Zavalniuk said that „the return of „the remains of the church founder has become a providential symbol of the fact that not a single Byelorussian, even those living outside the country, will not be forgotten by us“.