Aleksandr Lukashenko visits Holy Spirit Cathedral on Christmas

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The support of children and elderly people will be the Belarusian policy priority, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he attended the Christmas service at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk on 7 January.

The head of state wished Merry Christmas, peace and kindness to those present at the church service, all Belarusian people. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that it is always difficult to speak in the church. “It is difficult because all those who are here today and those who will listen to me on this day always pay attention to details and accents. Perhaps it is not the place for everyday talking. However, I will talk about the things that matter to our country today,” the President said.

“I took a risk at the end of the previous year to say that the coming year would be as difficult as the outgoing one. You see what is going on around our country. Many people understand it and see it as an obstacle to overcome. “Anything but a war,” they say,” the President said. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that there is a deal of sense in it. “I do not follow this motto. We must always live decently. However, there is a great deal of sense in these words. We can see it at the example of our neighbors: when there is a war, you need nothing except for peace, except for a life. People do not think about themselves, they think about their children. Therefore, our first appeal to the God is to protect us and help keep our country as it is. We cannot ask for more today. All the rest depends on us. If there is peace, the man is able to do anything,” the head of state believes.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted: “We must count on ourselves only. People should count on themselves only. I promise that everything that the state can do will do for its people. It will be in addition to the things you are able to do for yourselves, your families and children.”

“I, as far as it is possible, have demonstrated the policy we will be following in the near future. The very essence of this policy is children and seniors. I think there is no need in explaining you why. The elderly are the part of our nation that have created all we have today. We have a lot and it is entirely to their credit. Secondly, these people are old and although they can be still healthy they cannot do what they did before any longer. They need our support.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted: “We will be treated by our children exactly the way we treat our seniors. Therefore, we must demonstrate our respectful attitude to our elderly.” As for children, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that they are the future. “We should do for them everything we can. However, they cannot be overprotected. They are very wise. Today they have every opportunity to deal with any issue and do it right. We should only help them choose the right path,” the head of state believes.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, this is the main point of the country's future social policy. “We will do everything possible to help our children grow up healthy and educated. We will do everything to protect every person, make their lives longer. By the way, we have already done a lot in the past ten years. The medium life span has extended by five years. No other state can boast such progress. We will continue to do our best for people's health and education in order for them to be able to provide for themselves and their families. A sick and uneducated person is unable to do this,” noted the President.

“We will live in an absolutely democratic society as we have lived before, no matter how much we are criticized. Those who criticized us keep silence today as they see that Belarus has no less democracy and human rights than other countries. I have always talked about it. The main thing is the right to live. No one needs such a democracy when shooting is heard in the streets every day and hundreds of thousands of people are killed a year,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“We will live in an open society where every person speaks what he or she has in mind. However, when some decision is supported by the majority and adopted as a law, everyone should obey it. Otherwise, it is just two steps away from a war,” the President stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that there should be an order in the society. “No violence, no abuse and humiliation,” said the head of state. In his words, everything should be done for the people's benefit.

According to the President, he does not understand the church and state separation thesis. “Today the church in Belarus is one of the strongholds of our state that secures balance in our society together with other stakeholders,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “The church and our priests, as no one else in the world, have done a lot for peace and stability in our state. So where is our church? Inside the state, of course,” he stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the authority should not interior with the church affairs. “The church is an independent organization in our state. We support it. Please tell me: Does the church function in line with the law, the Constitution? Of course, it does. Who creates laws and the Constitution? The state and its representatives do. This is the answer to the actual state of things,” stressed the President.

“Everyone in the church should understand that the church functions as part of the sovereign and independent state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state expressed confidence that the church should not stay unchanged in order to perform its function. “The church should not stay frozen. Our church needs improvements and I have said it many times. As the head of state I will promote it, as far as it is possible,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I would like to reiterate that all of us, including the church, should understand that we are sovereign and independent,” the President said.

The President stated: “No one will be allowed to destroy the unity of our church. Interpret my words as you wish. The church has always been an example for us to follow, and it will remain so.”

The President stressed that great priests work in Belarus. “May God give such priests to any state. I think that sound powers, and there are the majority of them, will always hold the advantage in outlining the development ways for our church and our state,” stressed the President.

The head of state noted that the new year would be as difficult as the previous one. “It is not because we cannot work and not because we cannot see or do anything. The world changes. It is difficult to adjust to the changing world. The things we have today will be different tomorrow,” the President explained.

According to the President, the country has lived through such times before and will not destroy anything. “We have a lot of good things. We always get rid of bad things. We will live this way and will improve all the good we create. Everything the people created will not be sold for a song,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “Everything that was created by people should belong to people. We see what has happened there where everything was divided: oligarchs made their appearance, armed themselves and started fighting against each other, involving ordinary people, the whole society. Do we need this? No,” the head of state stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that “we will adopt and rest upon all the best and valuable things this world possesses.”

He is convinced that Belarus will be able to overcome all the hard times.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also stressed that Belarus will continue its well-balanced peaceful policy. The President added: “We will not give away our land. This is our soil and it is for our people, our children.”

Congratulating everyone on Christmas, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the importance of these sacred days such as the Nativity of Christ and the Resurrection of Christ. A long side with other important national days, it is a treasury of morality. “We will stay united around our sanctities, both material and spiritual, in order to maintain our unity,” the President said.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented Metropolitan Pavel with the Star of Bethlehem painting during the Christmas church service.

In turn, Metropolitan Pavel presented the icon with the image of the Savior to the President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and his son Nikolai lit a Christmas candle at the Icon of the Minsk Mother of God.