Those who believe in God, love each other, and show solidarity can survive any disaster, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus said on 8 January, BelTA has learned.
He took part in the Christmas charity event in the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk where he met with young hopefuls from Buda-Koshelevo District, Kalinkovichi District, Lelchitsy District, Mozyr District and Khoiniki District of Gomel Oblast and the settlement of Ivenets, Volozhin District, Minsk Oblast. The charity event “Christmas Tree-Our Children” has been held in Minsk for 25 years already. It brings together children living in remote parts of Belarus and areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster. “I am very excited every time I meet with children from the Chernobyl-affected areas. Having faith in God, love for each other, and solidarity, we can get over any disaster, because God is with us and we are ready to lend a helping hand to each other and that is what we do,” Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel said.
In his words, such meetings are really special. “Have you heard these children singing? They put their heart into it. Looking at the kids, the way they stick to each other and support each other, we should tell other people how important it is to maintain and value the love for God, people and Fatherland. If we do it, we can survive any disaster and tragedy,” he said.
Metropolitan Pavel wished everyone Merry Christmas. “I would like to wish everyone peace and well-being in the new calendar year. We will always thank God for everything he does for us, enjoy our life and work hard. I would like the new year to be peaceful and blessed,” he said.
The charity event “Christmas Tree - Our Children” is meant for talented children and teenagers from the areas of Brest Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Grodno Oblast, Mogilev Oblast and Minsk Oblast that were affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. This year 1,600 children came to Minsk to take part in the festivities as part of the charity event. The event started with a traditional Christmas Liturgy in the Holy Spirit Cathedral. The metropolitan wished Merry Christmas to the boys and girls, held a prayer for Belarusian children and blessed the attendees. The children gave him handmade souvenirs and gifts, including a Christmas cake with 25 candles symbolizing the 25th anniversary of the charity event.
After that the children were taken to the Belarusian State Circus where each of them received a goody bag.
The charity event “Christmas Tree - Our Children” is arranged by the BRSM Youth Union, the Department for Mitigating Consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster at the Emergencies Ministry, the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and the Belarusian Peace Fund with support of the Education Ministry and the Belarusian State Circus. Over 51,000 children have taken part in the charity project since its inception.
The charity event “Christmas Tree - Our Children” wraps up the Christmas Miracle charity campaign arranged by the BRSM Youth Union and the Belarusian Pioneer Organization.