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Consent as a model of civilised relations

The phrase — voiced by the President on meeting the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church — fully explains the depth of long-term mutual understanding between the state and the Church: ‘I put these values at the basis of my politics: justice and love to all’
Alexander Lukashenko meets the Synod on a regular basis. This time, the President has called upon bishops to a particularly open, trusting and sincere conversation —meeting the spirit of the times and lacking the retouching of the present objective problems. The state expects not only bilateral co-operation but the Belarusian Orthodox Church is expected to continue its mission of maintaining peace in the hearts and minds of many different people.

Memorial Church in Honour of All Saints in Minsk

“It is important that the Orthodox Church continues to promote interfaith harmony in Belarus, demonstrating an example of civilised relations. We have always existed peacefully through the balanced policy of the state and the Orthodox Church as regards Catholic and other believers. My position is clear: we have nothing to divide us in this world. As a powerful and large religion, you should respect and support others,” Mr. Lukashenko said.

These expectations fully coincide with the Belarusian Orthodox Church’s aspirations. Archbishop Pavel says that nobody can see the Orthodox Church as a competitor to the state or other faiths. It is a reliable and creative pillar of the country and society.

The Belarusian Orthodox Church will pay even greater attention to the social services and care for the needy. It also has its place in the education of the younger generation — including through training of young priests whose words would be appealing to the young generation. Another mission is to build — figuratively speaking — the hierarchy of effective interaction. The dialogue between the Church and the country’s leadership is bearing fruit. It should be promoted everywhere — through thoughtful and more active co-operation of parish heads and local authorities.

By Vladimir Velikhov
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