Posted: 11.01.2023 14:20:00

Core values

On January 7th, the President of Belarus visited the monastery complex of the St. Elisabeth Convent on Christmas Day

Photo by BELTA

In the church in the name of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the Head of State lit a Christmas candle and heartily congratulated Orthodox parishioners and people of other faiths on Christmas.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the clergy of Belarus for their great spiritual and educational work, especially important after 2020, when our people have realised a lot.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also addressed words of gratitude to the nuns of the St. Elisabeth Convent and its abbess, to all those who live near the church and do good deeds.
The President expressed the opinion that the time has come to meet the needs of the departed Belarusians, 
“At last very many people have started to understand that no country wants them but their own. Even those, who fled Belarus, are now contacting us in their thousands for permission to come back. We didn’t make anyone leave Belarus. It is their land just like it is ours. But they sought a better life and fled Belarus due to various reasons. Time has come when we, representatives of the government, I as the Head of State, and you, the clergy should make a step towards these people, who made an error either due to going mad or due to losing their guidelines for some time. And it will be possibly in our way, the Orthodox Christian way, to make this step towards them.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this should be done not at all because of some demands from the West, “I speak little about it but every day it demands to return and so on and so forth. Even lawbreakers. No. Everyone has to answer for their deeds. But I am convinced that among those, who fled, and among those, who live in our country today, there are people feeling profound remorse, people, who now realize they’ve made an error. They should not be kicked to the curb.”

St. Elisabeth Convent
Photo of the press service of the President of the Republic of Belarus

The Head of State emphasised that there is no need to create tension points in the society, “May God allow us to maintain this peaceful and calm way that we had at least last year. They say that 2023 should definitely be better. Honestly speaking, I already want it to be at least as good as 2022 was. We lived that year in peace, accord, and warmth. It is very important as I look around. This year should be as good from this point of view. We will have conditions for living a normal life, working normally (those who want to), and for living in warmth and peace… “I don’t want to specify anything here. But everything has been done to make things better. I am convinced it will be better. At least a little bit better. 
And things will be calmer for us if we don’t create tensions in our society on our own. God forbid if things happen the way they did in our brotherly country of Ukraine, in other countries. Tensions were initially created over there with maidan revolutions and the rest. A civil war followed and then a genuine hot war began. Who could have thought that we, Slavs, would war with each other? It is a terrible thing. And everything begins with small things. This is why steps need to be made in order to destroy points of confrontation in our society.”
The Head of State noted that St. Elisabeth Convent recently collected aid for the Russian military at the front, for which it was criticised by the ‘paid fugitives’, “You are doing the right thing. Do not pay attention to a dozen or two paid people. We not only help our Russian brothers, the Russians, I have never hidden this. And my recent visit to the military, to the Russian military, speaks openly about the fact that we have supported and continue to support our brothers. But we do not forget about Ukrainians either. About 10,000 who fled the war found a permanent place of residence and shelter in our country last year alone.”
The President stressed that it is necessary to extend a helping hand to everyone who needs it. Aleksandr Lukashenko once again warmly congratulated everyone on the holiday of the Nativity of Christ, wished good and peace, 
“I want to assure you that I personally, as Commander-in-Chief, Head of State, will do everything to ensure that our Belarus lives in peace and harmony. I will do everything so that you spend your days in the family calmly, in warmth and tranquillity and remember that the greatest and the most valuable thing is peace.”
After the Christmas service, Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke with the clergy, discussing the development of the monastery complex with them.
The Head of State donated the Holy Trinity icon to the monastery. The icon is a copy made from the original. The original of the icon itself was painted by the Monk Andrei Rublev in the 15th century and is one of his most famous works.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also talked outside to the parishioners who had gathered at the church in anticipation of the Head of State.