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Opinions & Interviews

15 Oct 2018

Lukashenko on Orthodox Church: Schism is always a bad thing

Lukashenko on Orthodox Church: Schism is always a bad thing

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – Unity is crucial in Church, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on 15 October, BelTA has learned.

“Unfortunately, our Church frequently became a hostage of interstate relations, sometimes because of our wrong acts. You must know our firm position that schism is always a bad thing, bad consequences. That is why we are very much concerned of what is going on in the Orthodox Church today,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the present world has changed. “Besides that its development pace has accelerated, the world has changed to the worse. The entire population on the planet is hostages today. This means low spirits, first of all. The spirit has always been the responsibility of the Church. Those changes, therefore, affect the Church,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state warmly welcomed the Patriarch in Belarus. “Every time, ahead of our meeting, I recall the period of your service before your patriarchal rank. I keep in memory your movement from Smolensk to Kaliningrad via Belarus [Patriarch Kirill served as Archbishop of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and often traveled through Belarus]. Perhaps it was then that you fell in love with this land,” the president said.

He wished Patriarch Kirill wisdom and patience. “We, church-goers, will do our best to support the unity to keep peace on the Earth. We have approached the dangerous line too close,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

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