Posted: 14.03.2024 12:22:00

Lukashenko: history of Orthodoxy in Belarusian lands inextricably linked with history of statehood

The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, has met today with the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church at Minsk’s Diocesan Administration


Before the meeting, the Head of State and the Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Veniamin, lit a candle in the church of the Cathedral of All Belarusian Saints and then gathered in a meeting room of the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Metropolitan Veniamin for the invitation to take part in the Synod, “Our country has laid solid foundations for co-operation between the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the state, and it couldn't be otherwise. The history of Orthodoxy in the Belarusian lands is inextricably linked with the history of the formation of our statehood. Here, at the junction of civilisations, the arena of military operations unfolded more than once. In such conditions, it was extremely difficult for a nation to form and declare itself, not to mention to create a state. However, Belarusians succeeded – largely due to the spiritual core of their ancestors. Therefore, the state and the Orthodox Church have many common points.”

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The President noted with regret that modern Orthodoxy is going through difficult times, “It is hardly possible to look at the religious confrontation in fraternal Ukraine without pain: the seizure of churches, the criminal prosecution of priests, the struggle for the main shrine of our Orthodoxy – the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The tragedy is also breaking out in the Holy Land, which has a sacred significance for all world religions. Unfortunately, we see attempts to involve as many other countries and peoples as possible into this conflict. The peculiarity of Belarus is that the control centres of traditional confessions are located outside the country. As we can see, a number of them have found themselves in the epicentre of armed conflicts.”

The Belarusian Orthodox Church has 1,737 religious communities, 36 monasteries and convents, 1 mission, 15 brotherhoods, 9 sisterhoods, and 6 religious educational institutions. There are 1,878 churches, and 147 more are under construction.