Meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko sees no problems in mutual relations between believers in the country. The head of state made the statement as he met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on 20 June.

The President emphasized that Patriarch Kirill had been to Belarus many times. This time he visited the south of the country, home to many Catholics. “Orthodoxy in the western borders of our country is strong as well. Catholic and Orthodox believers live in peace. We do our best to help everyone feel comfortable and find their path to the church,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

People of various confessions live in Belarus. In Belarus people decide for themselves in what concerns confession, the head of state said. “There are no problems in the mutual relations of our believers. We highly appreciate and respect it,” the head of state stressed. In

The importance of these efforts can be proved by the situation in Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine began from the split in the church when spiritual values were defied. All that evolved in a military conflict, the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state stressed that Belarus’ peace-making mission in the regulation of the situation in Ukraine is well known. “Fraternal peoples of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine have the same roots. It hurts when our brothers are in trouble. We will do everything to de-escalate the situation and, if possible, to stop this fratricidal war,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Patriarch Kirill for what he is doing for Belarus. Belarus appreciates selfless activities of the Patriarch, his attitude to the country. “I have always appreciated and appreciate it and I am always grateful to you for the good things you are doing for Belarus as a Patriarch and a Russian person,” the President said. Belarus is a Slavonic cradle, the head of state remarked. In his words, Patriarch Kirill has visited Belarus several times and could see with his own eyes that Belarusians cherish their spiritual roots and values.

Patriarch Kirill, in turn, thanked Belarus for the role in organizing the talks on the regulation of the situation in Ukraine. He stressed that it is great pain for him to listen to the news about the situation in fraternal Ukraine. “It is a wound in the heart. Among Orthodox believers are people from the East and from the West. It lays great responsibility on the church,” the Patriarch said.

“At present our church is the only organization in Ukraine which preserved its peace-making potential because it does not take the side of either party,” the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said. However, he said that it is impossible to divide believers using political principles. Both sides are Orthodox people who are suffering and dying, he noted.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said that he wanted to visit Belarus in the year when the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic war is celebrated. “Arriving in Belarus I remember a special contribution of Belarus in the protection of the Fatherland in the Great Patriotic War. I wanted to visit the country in the year of the 70th anniversary of victory,” Patriarch Kirill said.

He stressed that Belarus played a special role in the Great Victory and noted that it is his duty to pay tribute the heroes died for the freedom and independence of the Fatherland in the year of the 70th anniversary.

The Patriarch thanked for the opportunity to visit Brest Fortress where his uncle was killed. “This sacred place is an example of heroism, courage, the ability of people to do their utmost to fight against the enemy and to be loyal to their duty,” he said.

At the meeting Patriarch Kirill presented the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov 1st Class and the Icon of Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir to the President of Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko presented the Icon of Guardian Angel to the Patriarch. It is an embossed image of the Guardian Angel made of silver.