Alexander Lukashenko visits Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral on Christmas day

Alexander Lukashenko visits Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral on Christmas day

By tradition on Christmas day, Alexander Lukashenko, with his youngest son Nikolai, visits the Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral. In the temple, the President was welcomed by Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel as well as pupils of the local Sunday school.   

And also by tradition, Alexander Lukashenko and Metropolitan Pavel exchanged gifts.

Metropolitan Pavel

The Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus presented the President the icon with the image of the Savior. Alexander Lukashenko donated to the Belarusian Orthodox Church the picture "Star of Bethlehem." Belarusian craftsmen made it of various species of wood using a unique technique.

The head of state also lit a candle at the icon of The Mother of God of Minsk. 

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
I congratulate you, Metropolitan, I congratulate all the people of Belarus, all the priests who make an invaluable contribution to the development of our society, I congratulate you on this bright holiday for our country and mankind in general.
I recently took a chance at the end of last year to say that the coming year will not be easier than 2015. You see what's happening around the country. Many people in our society say as befits a true Belarusian: "Come on, we will survive unless a war starts on our land." Though I do not adhere to this slogan, since you must always live and not survive. But I cannot agree with something in this statement. We saw this at the example of our neighbors: if there is way in a country, no one wants to visit it. People in warring countries want only peace. Just to save lives. And people do not even think about themselves. People think of their children. Therefore, our first prayer to the Lord is that he protects us and preserves our Belarus in a way it is now. We cannot ask for more today. Because everything else depends on us. If people have peace thanks to the Lord, they can do everything. I have demonstrated as vividly as I could the policy we will pursue in the near future. The essence of this policy will be children and the elderly. We will be treated in the same way as we treat the older generation. Therefore, with all our deeds should we demonstrate a good attitude to our elderly.
With regard to children, everything is very simple today: this is our future. This is the essence of our social policy. We will improve health and even educate our elderly. We will do everything in order to protect the person, the make people's lives as long as possible. By the way, we already have successes in this field. Over the last 10 years, we have increased life expectancy by 5 years. No country in the world has demonstrated such an increase in life expectancy.