Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill
Orthodoxy is a foundation stone of spirituality of the Belarusian people, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill on 14 October.
“In our country social and spiritual powers build relations following a "symphony" principle, i.e. a harmonic union and cooperation for the sake of the Fatherland. Belarus successfully cooperates with our Orthodox church,” the head of state said.
“A dedication ceremony for the memorial to Patriarch Alexy II, a wise pastor who was, according to the gospels, the salt of the earth and lumen mundi, whom we honor the same as you do, is another proof of these kind relations. Your visit is a testament to this. Thank you for your attention and commitment. You are a loyal and reliable friend of our country and have proved it more than once supporting us in the most difficult times,” the President noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized Patriarch’s authority as a spiritual leader and public figure who makes great contribution to the Orthodoxy development and strengthening of its social role: “Your ambition to preserve the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church and our Slavonic brotherhood deserves high praise. This idea fully meets the hopes of the peoples of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.”
“You might be confident that the position of Orthodoxy in Belarus is unshakable. It is not because I, as the head of state, and our priests, the Synod, his Eminence, Metropolitan, back this idea, it is because the Belarusian people believe in it. We have never been traitors, we have always been a tower of strength for our friends, and Orthodoxy is a foundation stone of our spirituality and faith,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Patriarch Kirill on the Intercession of the Holy Virgin and awarded him with the Order of Friendship for his considerable contribution to the Union State development, strengthening of friendly relations and the unity of the peoples of Belarus and Russia.
Receiving the Order, Patriarch Kirill noted that this award is a natural one in respect to the mission of the Orthodox Church. In his words, the Russian Orthodox Church, over its millenary history, has served the unity of people, created spiritual and cultural space which today is called historical Rus or Saint Rus. “In the 20th and 21st centuries we seem to have been living in different states. Our people have chosen a path of sovereignty, and the Church respects this choice. At the same time the Church continues its efforts aimed at the preservation of spiritual and cultural space of that historical Saint Rus, and one does not contradict the other. Development of sovereignty, economy, social ties, improvement of political relations should go alongside with spiritual, moral and cultural improvement of the individual and the society. This is the main focus of the Russian Orthodox Church,” the Patriarch is confident.
“Today we are busy working on integration issues in the post-Soviet space. There are successes including with your active participation. A lot has been done since our last meeting. The Church will continue to support and inspire people. The Church will always emphasize the importance of cooperation between the brotherly nations,” Patriarch Kirill said.Patriarch Kirill also said a lot of warm words regarding the development of modern Belarus and its capital, Minsk: “Every time I come here I see something new and it makes me happy. On this beautiful day, with plenty of sun and blue skies, Minsk looks amazing: a lot of space, air, pure nature and wonderful people. This is the asset which defines the quality of human life.”