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Russian Orthodox Patriarch Arrives In Minsk

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Arrives In Minsk
Combined Report
Patriarch Alexy II arrived in Minsk on 23 October on a three-day visit. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church pays his sixth visit to Belarus on the occasion of the 1020th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Kyivan Rus.
The spiritual life of Belarus’ population has changed drastically over the last decade, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II said on arrival in the national airport Minsk. “I am a witness of the benignant successes the Belarusian people has been demonstrating in the area of spiritual creation for many years already,” added the Patriarch.
Alexy II reminded, all the three brotherly orthodox countries – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – celebrate the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia this year. “The historic and religious being of the three nations came into existence thanks to the deed of the enlightener of Russia – Grand Prince Vladimir,” he stressed. “This is why the triple celebration of the great enlightenment of our lands with Christian belief takes place in Moscow, Kyiv and Minsk. All of us gratefully remember the deed of the Russian land enlightener,” he added.
Alexy II added, these days he would like to congratulate Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus Filaret on the 30th anniversary of his service in Belarus. “The 30-year-long deed achieved by the man is important both for the church, state and public life of Belarus,” said the Patriarch.
Several hundreds of priests and believers attended the Divine Liturgy led by Patriarch Alexy II in the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk on October 24. After the service the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church presented the Cathedral with Eucharistic vessels. All the attendees were given Saint Vladimir icons blessed by Patriarch Alexy II.
In Belarus faith is strong, hope is fervent and love is active, said Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II after the service in the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk on October 24. “It is not the first time that God has given me an opportunity to visit Belarus and I see impressive results of the joint efforts for the benefit of the Church and our native land,” the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church said.
According to the Patriarch, for over a thousand years the Russian Church has been saving its faithful children, guarding the evangelic truth and the teachings of the forefathers. “Despite all ordeals the Church has preserved its unity, holiness, apostolic succession and faithfulness to the Christ the Saviour,” Patriarch Alexy II said.
On the same day, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with Belarusian Head of State Alexander Lukashenko. In Belarus there are no discords and conflicts on religious grounds, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Patriarch Alexy II.
The President told Alexy II, “Your arrival in Belarus is not only an event for believers, it is a major political event. The attitude of the Belarusians to you is the same as the attitude of the Russians”. The President also added, the orthodox church is the foundation, it is 85% of believers. “Today nobody doubts it and nobody is zealous about it,” added the head of state. Alexander Lukashenko underscored, “Belarus is an orthodox country and we will follow the policy we chose once”. “Because it is what our nation wants,” said the President.
The head of state pointed out the significant role of Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus Filaret in preserving the accord in the Belarusian society. Patriarch Alexy II thanked Alexander Lukashenko for assistance in the restoration and construction of temples. He also thanked the President of Belarus for the kind attitude towards the church. “Doing good things is a great deed. I’ve been to many places and have seen how the people esteem you,” he added.



24 Октября, 2008
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