The National Library hosted the presentation as part of its Family — Unity — Fatherland spiritual and enlightening programme and the Return of Relics project. Copies of the unique edition have been given to the country’s largest libraries, with future donations planned to district libraries. The Slutsk Gospel is a unique manuscript from the late 16th century, considered to be one of the greatest Orthodox relics in Belarus. It was finished in 1581, in Slutsk, and is believed to have been written by Duke Yuri Olelkovich — the father of St. Sophia Slutskaya.
In 1889, the relic was exhibited at the Moscow Archaeological Exhibition and was owned by the St. Trinity Monastery until 1917. Later it was given to Minsk’s State Museum and then, in the late 1920s, was transferred to the Belarusian State Museum in Mogilev. The Slutsk Gospel disappeared at the start of the Great Patriotic War, in 1941, alongside other exhibits, but was suddenly found in the early 1990s. It had been in the hands of a private collector who gave it to the priest of one of Minsk’s churches.