Words of kindness and spirituality spoken in church

Care and support for children and elderly people will be the priority for Belarusian social policy in the nearest time

Care and support for children and elderly people will be the priority for Belarusian social policy in the nearest time.


During the Christmas service at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk

During the Christmas service at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk, Alexander Lukashenko delivered his message for the coming year. It is traditional for the President to give this address on the Orthodox church celebration of Christmas Day.

Congratulating everyone at Christmas, the Head of State said that it’s always problematic to speak in church. “It’s difficult because all those who are here today and those who will listen to my speech always pay minute attention to every nuance and detail. Perhaps it’s not the place for speaking of everyday issues. However, I will talk about the things that matter to our country today,” he said.

“I took a risk at the end of last year to say that the coming year would be as difficult as the outgoing one,” continued the President. “You see what is going on around our country. Many people in our society say that we’ll survive this; ‘anything but a war’, they say.” Mr. Lukashenko believes that there is a great deal of sense in these words. “I do not always follow this line of thought. We must always live decently. However, there is a great deal of sense in these words,” believes the Head of State. “In the example of our neighbours we see that when there is war, you need nothing except for peace. People do not think about themselves, they think about their children. Therefore, our first thought is for God 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, man is able to do anything.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Lukashenko called on everyone to count on themselves while promising that everything the state is able to do will be done. “However, it will be in addition to the things you are able to do for yourselves, your families and children,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. Mr. Lukashenko drew attention to his personal activities as a head of state. “I have tried to demonstrate the policy we will be following in the future. The very essence of this policy is based on the care of children and elderly people. The elderly are the part of our nation that have created all we have today. Secondly, these people are old and although they may be in good health they cannot do what they did before. They need our support.” Mr. Lukashenko also noted, “We will never be young again, but we will inevitably be old. We will be treated by our children exactly the way we treat our senior citizens. Therefore, we must demonstrate our respectful attitude to our elderly.” As for the young generation, Mr. Lukashenko noted that they are the future. “We should do everything we can for them whilst not being overprotective, they are already wise. We should only help them choose the right path.”

According to the President, this is the main focus 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, and make their lives longer.”

Meanwhile, the President believes that we have already done a great deal in the past ten years in the sphere of social policy. “The average life span has been 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.”

Moreover, speaking during the Christmas service at the Holy Spirit Cathedral President asserted that Belarus has no less democracy and human rights than other states.

“We’ll live in an absolutely democratic society as we have lived before, no matter how much we are criticised. Those who criticised us keep silence today as they see that Belarus has no less democracy and human rights than other countries. I’ve always talked about it. The main thing is the right to live,” underlined Mr. Lukashenko. “No one needs such a democracy when shooting is heard in the streets every day and people are being killed. Therefore, we’ll live in an open society where every person speaks what they have in mind. However, when a decision is supported by the majority or adopted as a law, everyone should obey it. Otherwise, it is just two steps away from a war,” believes the President. Nevertheless, Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that there should be order in the society. “No violence, no abuse or humiliation,” emphasised the Head of State.

On visiting the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk, the President presented Metropolitan Pavel with the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ painting. The painting was made in the Sozh filigree technique at the Teslya Family Belarusian workshop. This unique technique was developed by Vladimir Tsekunov of Gomel in the late 20th century. The pattern is made of small wood flakes inserted using pliers. Different wood species create various tones to the pattern. Today Vladimir Tsekunov’s knowledge is used by his ten apprentices. 

The painting itself features a pious woman holding a baby in the image of the Holy Mother. Over the head of the woman there are stars that symbolise the Star of Bethlehem that marked the birth of Jesus and plays an important role in the Christmas celebrations.

By Vasily Kharitonov

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