Prayer for Belarus ceremony
Peace will ultimately reign in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko said as he spoke during the Prayer for Belarus ceremony in the All Saints Memorial Temple in Minsk on 2 October.
“The Belarusian state will exist forever. We will never give away an inch of our land and will never claim the land of others,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko said that he often sees various insinuations and manipulations these days. “There are only a few such people in our country, but they want to repeat the Ukrainian events in Belarus and to turn all this into a dirty political campaign. It is very good when people live in peace. When there is no peace, nothing else is needed; foodstuffs, clothes and prices do not matter at all.
“We can do everything with our own hands in Belarus if there are peace and accord in the country. Be sure, we will do whatever it takes to ensure peace and security of our people, 10 million Belarusians and 2-3 million guests of the country, no matter how difficult it can be because peace is the main treasure of a person which is essential for prosperity and progress,” the President emphasized.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that civil peace and accord, rejection of any forms of religious or ethnic hostility are the priorities of the Belarusian state policy.
“People living in Belarus say that the interethnic relations in the country are calm. There is no religious or ethnic discrimination here. I do not know if there is one more country like this in the world where leaders of various religious and public associations not only maintain friendly relations but also help each other,” the head of state said.
The President noted that representatives of more than 140 nations and ethnicities live in peace, marry and bring up children together in Belarus. “Our country has been the crossroads of different ethnic groups and cultures for centuries. We not only created our own spiritual values, but also used the creative legacy of people who had left their native countries due to some reasons to enrich ourselves,” the President said.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, the Prayer for Belarus ceremony is a symbolic one, it is not only the address of believers to God, but also the expression of sincere and deep feelings of all of us and of the Belarusian people to the Homeland, our common home which wellbeing is our paramount concern,” the head of state noted.
He stressed that people in Belarus respect each other. “This guarantees that we will always live in peace,” the President believes.
“Since the dawn of time the worship of sacred things has been the ultimate manifestation of human spirit. The selfless feat of people protecting their native land from invaders and enslavers is the main treasure for us, Belarusians. Praying for Belarus, we, first of all, bow low to the fallen heroes who added golden pages to the glorious chronicles of the Fatherland,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that peace on the Belarusian soil and tranquility in the society are the biggest achievements of the country.
“Today the globe is shattered by bloody conflicts. Even our neighbors, fraternal Ukrainians, are involved in the internecine warfare. Dozens of thousands of people run from that war, including to Belarus. Stories of refugees are horrifying,” the head of state noted.
“Against this backdrop Belarusian citizens especially strongly feel the warmth of the native home. Bombs do not explode, mothers do not cry, helpless children and elderly people do not die in the country of blue rivers and lakes,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus often became the crossroads where the armies of belligerent countries fought to death in the past. “Our people suffered so much that they have become immune to any violence. Peacefulness is the basis of our foreign policy today,” the President stated.
The head of state believes that the historical memory and good traditions are a reliable foundation of the social wellbeing and stability in any country. “Loyalty to moral principles, generosity and humanity are the secrets of the spiritual power of our people which helped them hold out against all historical ordeals and build a sovereign state,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
Alexander Lukashenko said that the country has made big progress in the resolution of one of the most acute modern issues, which is typical of and very important for Europeans – the demographic issue. The life expectancy and birth rate have increased in Belarus. According to the head of state, social protection programs help a lot. “Perhaps, another important factor is the creation of the atmosphere of confidence of people in their future, in the stability and protection of the state,” the President said.
The head of state emphasized that secular principles of the today’s life rely on religious principles and ideas. “Commandments set out in the Bible, Torah, Koran are the moral compass determining and regulating people’s behavior. As a rule, when the society begins to ignore or misinterpret these values, to listen to quacks, false prophets and visionaries, social cataclysms emerge. Words are transformed into destructive weapons,” the President believes.
“Trust me, the war and people’s deaths are horrifying. But it is even more horrifying when we abandon moral principles. Wounds from wars heal. World War Two and the Great Patriotic war are the testimony to that. But the violation of fundamental moral principles will be remembered forever. Therefore, we must be very cautious and careful, especially in this restless and sometimes odd time,” the head of state said.
“Today the strengthening of our statehood heavily depends on the fact whether the worldview of a pastor or an activist of a social and cultural association correlates with his or her respect of the nation and trust to the country,” the head of state emphasized.
“Many people present here have different opinions and religious views. But we have a common objective to reconcile positions on socially important issues. We must teach our citizens to understand each other and be good neighbors. We must promote mercy, religious tolerance, accord and care of other people,” the President said.
In his opinion, the consolidation of high moral ideals, education and bringing up of a younger generation, support of families, maternity and childhood are the priorities. “In short, we must ensure the decent present and future of our country,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed.
A ceremony to bury capsules containing soil from the graves of the Belarusian warriors, who died far away from their native land, involving Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took place in the crypt of the All Saints Memorial Temple. Heads of the Orthodox church, Catholic church, Muslim church, and the Jewish church in Belarus took part in the ceremony as well as representatives of diplomatic missions of seven countries — Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy — from where the capsules had been delivered.
During the ceremony Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel said a brief prayer, sprinkled the capsules and the niches in the crypt with holy water. The capsules were placed by soldiers of the guard of honor company. At the end of the ceremony Alexander Lukashenko went to the center of the crypt where a holy fire lamp was in order to light and place a commemorative candle.
The head of state said he was confident that the new unique project meant to immortalize memory of the fallen would enjoy full support of the Belarusian nation and would be continued in a worthy manner.
Alexander Lukashenko remarked that when a person dies his death is a heavy blow for relatives. “Perhaps, it is even harder to die abroad. Our compatriots died their and were there against their own will, they had a noble mission to liberate the mankind from the brown plague. Thanks God there are people in the country who still remember, realize and know the value of spirituality, who understand that every person should rest in the native land. In several decades, in many years we have brought the soil from that graves of our people, thousands and thousands of Soviet people, and placed it in this sacred place, in this temple. This is a tribute to our people who had died fulfilling a noble mission to liberate the mankind,” the head of state said.
The President believes that Belarus’ rich experience of constructive interethnic and religious relations may become popular today, at a time when these aspects have acquired special importance throughout the world. “We would be happy to expand cooperation between our countries in various areas. In particular, in advancing this unique project to perpetuate the memory of our compatriots. We will continue our searching efforts in different countries for the remains of our soldiers that were killed during the Second World War as well as during the performance of the international duty in the subsequent years. Commemorating the dead is a matter of honor for every nation, especially for the Belarusian people,” the head of state stressed.
“I hope that representatives of diplomatic missions will promote further development of this noble patriotic work,” said the President.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, public diplomacy opens big prospects in cooperation development. “No doubt, further strengthening of contacts between denominations, ethnic associations and foreign missions accredited in Belarus will be useful. You can become a link between Belarus and other states. It will only benefit the peoples,” the President is confident.
The head of state said he was confident that the new unique project meant to immortalize memory of the fallen would enjoy full support of the Belarusian nation and would be continued in a worthy manner. The President wished success to the action’s initiators. “The temple itself should become a symbolic place of unity for representatives of all the public and patriotic forces of Belarus regardless of their social status, political views, ethnic and confessional affiliations,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
At the ceremony Alexander Lukashenko wished compatriots peace, happiness and prosperity.
The head of state also met with the representatives of religious communities, national associations and diplomatic missions in the White Hall of the All Saints Memorial Temple.