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Alexander Lukashenko: Belarus' church operates in independent sovereign state

The Belarus President has wished all Orthodox Christians merry Christmas today. By tradition on Christmas day, Alexander Lukashenko, with his youngest son Nikolai, visits the Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral. In his address to Belarusians the head of state did not limit himself to words of congratulations on this bright holiday. Alexander Lukashenko reminded the congregation about the many values ​​that make up our lives and promised that they would remain among the priorities of the state policy.

Even secular people turn to spiritual values on this sacred holiday. The President noted that a person can be happy only when peace reigns in their land. Inside the church, Alexander Lukashenko admitted that it is not so easy to find the words when you are in such a beautiful and spiritually rich place.  

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
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." This has a lot of sense. Though I do not adhere to this slogan since I believe that we must always live in dignity. We saw this at the example of our neighbors: if there is war 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 about their children. Therefore, our first prayer to the Lord is that he protects us and preserves our Belarus in a way it is now.

It is symbolic that there are a lot of kids in the church. Respect for the older generation and caring for the younger one is Belarus' priority.

Alexander Lukashenko:
The essence of this policy will be children and the elderly. 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. 
The world is changing. I want only one thing: I want it to change as quickly as possible. Then we would know how to adapt to it. Therefore, we in this life are like a boat in this vast sea, floundering on the waves, and it is very difficult to keep the course that we took. But this is a sacred thing.
The course that we have identified is sacred: this means the protection of rights, the creation of conditions for normal life. So don't you listen to these conversations about reform theories: to reform, to razed to the ground, and then create something new. We have experienced this and not once. We will not ruin anything. We have a lot of good things. We always dismiss something poor. We will continue to live like this. But we will improve all good things. We do not intend to sell for cheap what our people has created. Moreover, look at what is happening where the property was share: oligarchic circles appeared and they are warring against each other now drawing the society into these brawls! Do we need this? - No. We will introduce all the best from what is present in the world and will be based on it.

Church and state in our country have a special relationship and shared values. Today, it can truly be called a spiritual stronghold. 

Alexander Lukashenko:
I do not understand the thesis that "the church is separated from the state." Today the Church in Belarus has become one of the mainstays of our state, which provides together with other relevant authorities and organizations the balance of our society. Church and our priests have done a lot for peace and stability in our country. The Church acts and operates in conditions of a sovereign and independent state. The Church, in order to fulfill its function, should not be frozen.  Our church should improve. And as the head of state, I will support this process. We have always had a single and a beautiful church, I mean not only our buildings and temples. It has always been the soul of the people. And it always will be so. No one will be allowed to break the unity of our church.

Alexander Lukashenko: Belarus' church operates in independent sovereign state