Meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Minsk on 6 June.
“Now is a hard time. And it is good that you have come here. You are not a stranger here. This is a good sign for our people. A sign of unity, solidarity in the face of these evil forces, as our lord says. Believe me, the truth is on our side. It always prevails. We will withstand any pressure, whatever it may be, be it in the form of a rebellion or some kind of hybrid wars, or even hot wars. We will survive,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
“We have gone through this before,” the patriarch agreed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: “The planet cannot do without our civilization. Therefore, I think He [the Lord] is probably looking at us there. He might reproach us at some instances, but he also supports and helps us.”
“This is for sure,” Patriarch Kirill responded.
The Belarusian head of state thanked the patriarch for his visit to Belarus. “You should know that you can feel at home here, on your own land,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he was glad to see the patriarch in good health and in a good mood. He watched on television the celebration of the 1,030th anniversary of Orthodoxy in the Belarusian land that took place in Polotsk. “It was very nice to see the procession. A lot of people came. Moreover, people from Russia, Voronezh arrived to join the celebrations,” he said.
“Yes, it was very solemn and uplifting,” Patriarch Kirill agreed.
The President emphasized that this is very important for the Belarusian people: “Our Orthodoxy started from there, and our Patriarchate of Moscow supported this date. In my opinion, the decision was made at the synod. Therefore, I am grateful to you for coming to Belarus on this occasion.”
The head of state invited the patriarch to visit Belarus again and again. “I think you will find time to come to us again. Especially for the 900th anniversary of the convent in 2025 [the Savior and St Euphrosyne Convent in Polotsk]. I will be glad to receive you in Belarus any time. I have often said that this is your land since you started your service in Smolensk. You would fly to Kaliningrad via Belarus [when Patriarch Kirill served as Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad]. I remember all your statements of that time. You loved Belarus very much. I remember our first meeting in the mountains and our conversation then,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, in turn, noted that in Belarus he always feels among his own kin. "Usually, when you go to meet a head of state, you have different thoughts in your head, thinking what to say and how to act... Here I feel at ease. Because I know that I am meeting a kindred person who has assumed a huge responsibility for the safety, for the preservation of his people, for the preservation of the identity of his people," Patriarch Kirill said.
"In the context of globalization that suggests the erosion of identity and bringing everyone on the planet Earth up to the same standards, the struggle for identity is a struggle for the survival of a nation," he stressed. "Maybe not in a physical sense. But in a spiritual and cultural sense it's survival."
“The human race will not survive if everyone is forced to follow the “one-size-fits-all” approach and if people are governed by standards that are developed without their participation, by some think-tank centers. People’s lives, policies and culture will be adjusted to fit these standards. Today, true sovereignty is more than political sovereignty. It is the freedom of people. I am glad to witness that Belarus is among those states that can be called sovereign states. God grant things will remain so,” Patriarch Kirill said.