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Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Pavel about key Christian values

The TV program Week has talked with Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, Pavel about core values, spirituality and features of the Belarusian Orthodox.

In Belarus, according to the calendar, there are two Christmas holidays: the Orthodox and Catholic. Does this have any religious significance?

Pavel, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
The calendar question is a human thing, not the divine law. We must understand perfectly that God lives outside time, outside of our earthly outlook. And the most important is what we believe in, that we understand and know that Christ was born. That is extremely important. The calendar question does not divide us. For the glory of God and our spiritual perfection there is absolutely no difference.

In your opinion, does modern man pay enough attention to the spiritual side of life?

Pavel, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
You know, I am not in position to judge. My job is to call upon people to believe in God, to pray and also to show people the path of the Gospel into God's Kingdom. You know, there is a very interesting idea, a very important thought of Apostle Paul, who says that one can very easily determine the measure of God in oneself. Just ask yourself whether the grace of the Holy Spirit lives in me or not; do you have the gifts of the Holy Spirit? And he continues: there is something that can show you the answer. If the grace of the Holy Spirit lives in me, then the following qualities should be present in me: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  And if only envy, anger, resentment or deceit lives in me, then I must confess that I'm not keeping up with the ideal upon which the Lord calls me. We must certainly seek to repent, turn to a priest, and ask God to forgive your misdeeds and take that saving path where you can acquire the gifts of grace about which Apostle Paul says.

With what do you associate the Orthodox Christians of Belarus? You also probably have something to compare: the USA and Russia.

Pavel, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus:
Most importantly, we profess the same faith, that we believe in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. Here it is very important that we are all in one boat, we are all Christians. Who sings louder is not that important. The main thing is that we turn to God with pure heart and help each other instead of competing. We should be able to really see in every person the image of God, which does present in every person. After all, God created us in his image and likeness. The image of God is in every person, and so we, Christians, need to see it in our loved ones.   

Pavel, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus