Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion is the only museum in the Republic of Belarus, who studies religion and reflects the history and culture of Belarus.
Its history begins in the town of Polotsk. In accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPB of 23 December and Decree of the Ministry of Culture of the BSSR number 188 of December 4, 1973 a decision was made about the organization and the creation of the National Museum of Atheism in Polotsk (Director German Vasilevich Chernov). Museum of the Republic was instructed to draw up lists of museum exhibits on the history of religion and atheism, which were in their funds in order to create the fund collections of the National Museum of Atheism.
June 6, 1977 decision of the BSSR Council of Ministers № 47 the museum was renamed the National Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism with transferring him to the city of Grodno. The museum director was appointed Alex Nikiforovich Karpyuk.
To accommodate exhibitions, fund collections and museum staff have been allocated the building of the former convent of the Nativity of the Virgin in the street Novazamkavaya 3 (modern Grodno David Street). In 1979, the monastery complex began restoration work on the project and under the supervision of the architect Ming Zharovinay Galina and her husband Valentin Kalnin. They were restored church building, privately and economic housing. While this was the first monument, which was restored by the present scientific method and in full accordance with European standards. The project of restoration of the temple took into account the religious characteristics and history of the monument. In order to fit the building to house the museum to the southern facade of the temple was built two-storey building with a conference room. In the summer of 1980 as part of the design work of the Minsk archaeologists under the direction of Cherniavsky were discovered and conserved remains of the monastery church Prechistenskaya -. The largest monument in Grodno architectural school of the XII century, which was an important milestone in the development of archeology in Belarus.
After the restoration and repair work the museum has received fifteen exhibition, three exhibitions and a lecture hall. Exhibition area amounted to more than 2200 sq.m. In separate building will fund storage, scientific library, a restoration workshop, an economic unit with a garage.
Simultaneously there was a design and construction of the exhibition, which lasted until 1990. The author of the project of the general decision decoration exposition of the National Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism was the Honored Artist of the BSSR culture Agunovich EK But the installation of the exhibition was carried out artists Ales degree and Vyacheslav Kichko. The first hall exhibition “From the history of religion and atheism development in Belarus” were open to the public January 15, 1985 The exhibition was arranged in chronological order-confessional principle, disclose the development of spiritual culture of Belarus from the emergence of religious beliefs to the 1980s. The next part of the exhibition was devoted to the history of the development of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, the Uniate Church, Judaism, Islam and Protestantism.
An important task in the first phase of the museum is the restoration of the monument of religious architecture – St. Boris and Gleb Kalozhskoy church, which was transferred to the balance of cultural institution management order № 28 from June 27, 1977. In 1979-1986 gg. Museum initiated a research and restoration work on the territory of Kalozhskoy church, which archaeologists have completed P.Rapaport, M.Tkachov, A. Trusov, A.Kravtsevich and others. At the same time we launch a comprehensive study of the temple, who spent architect Valery Slyunchenko – the best expert on the history and architecture of the temple. After his death the work was continued by Vadim Glinnik. plaster and cleaned up all the holes resonators has been removed. Plinfa walls were sequentially impregnated two preservative solutions. On one of the walls opened up previously laid brick niches. In some of them we have found fragments of frescoes and graffiti left in the apse – the remains of majolica floor. The church was partially renovated: replaced the roof, made an effective drainage, the blind area. To draw attention to the problems of the restoration of the monument made contact with the Russian Orthodox Church. A special highlight in this regard was a visit to St. Boris and Gleb Kalozhskoy Church Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Belarus in March 1980 at the invitation of the director of the museum. exhibition “From the history of the Grodno architectural school” was opened in 1982.
In November 1989, a monument of architecture of the XII century. handed Holy Virgin Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Grodno. For museum staff preserved the right to conduct tours in the church and in its courtyard.
In addition to the exposition and exhibition activity of the museum was engaged in research, expeditions, Acquisitions, organization of scientific-theoretical conference.
Alex Nikiforovich Karpyuk priority of their work seen training young team of researchers. To this end, it was established close cooperation with the Museum of Ancient Academy of Culture