15 October 2018, 13:46
Lukashenko promises to support unity of Orthodox faith
Minsk, October 15, Interfax - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he supports the unity of the Orthodox Church.
"I have to assure you that regardless of how the situation develops, we will do everything we can to make sure that antagonistic clashes, not only between religions, but also, God forbid, between us, Orthodox Christians, in peaceful and calm Belarus," the state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying at a meeting with members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church in Minsk on Monday.
"We will do everything we can to grow stronger and to strengthen our state and our people in its Orthodox faith. That's why I said schism isn't about us. And we will do everything we can to keep our unity," Lukashenko said.
The situation in Ukraine is having a ripple effect, he said. "We cannot help but see it. Especially here, in Belarus," he said.
"We are the closest neighbors, Slavic peoples," Lukashenko said. "We will continue doing everything we can to bring peace and accord to Ukrainian land soon. Schism isn't about us, it's not for us. And we will do everything, I am sure of that. Time is the best doctor and judge, we will definitely be together," he said.
Discussing the organization of the next session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk, Lukashenko said it indicates high appreciation of the efforts of the state to preserve peace and accord, develop interreligious dialogue, and support the constructive initiatives of religious organizations.
"In the years of its independence, Belarus and the Orthodox Church have come a long and difficult way, strengthening its spiritual foundation and giving society moral orientation in life," he said.
He noted Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia's contribution to the strengthening of interaction between church and state and support and development of spiritual relations between the fraternal peoples of Belarus and Russia. "We appreciate your ministerial care and attention to our country," Lukashenko said.