There is a lot that we can accomplish when we stand united, Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, told reporters on 11 January.
“When united we can accomplish a lot. Our history teaches us this. When there are some divisions, opposing views, we begin to stumble. Therefore, it is important that we have a unifying idea based on the spiritual traditions of our people, willingness to settle disputes in peace, love, mutual understanding, respect for another point of view. Undoubtedly, the experience of our fathers and great-grandfathers will help us in this. It is appropriate to remember that we survived during the Great Patriotic War because we were united. Now our land is facing other trials: the coronavirus infection, and the difficulties in public life that surfaced last year. We can overcome them only through love and unity,” Metropolitan Veniamin said.
The 27th edition of the nationwide charity campaign Christmas Tree – Our Children for children from the Chernobyl affected regions was held in Minsk on 11 January. In line with a tradition, the campaign kicked off in the Minsk Holy Spirit Cathedral. A total of 200 children were invited to the cathedral to meet with Metropolitan Veniamin. A solemn presentation of the delegations took place in the church, and the children received the blessing of the Metropolitan.
“I think that this very important and kind tradition should be continued. This event brings the light of love to our neighbors, children, to our future. At the same time, children become familiar with spiritual traditions of our people. Visiting the cathedral, they have the opportunity to think about Christmas and about what the Son of God and the Son of Man did for us. And thus, the seed of good, love, compassion for other people and a desire to work for the good of our people will be planted in their souls. This event brings together adults and children, various organizations, gives joy and inspiration to children, so that this land, affected by the Chernobyl disaster, comes back to life and regains strength. And this power, undoubtedly, is given from above, but through people, through a blessing,” the Metropolitan noted.
Then the children were taken to the circus to see a new show, In Search of Magic. The children visited the creative workshop of Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) and lived through unforgettable adventures together with the main characters of the fairy tale - the Snowman and his friends. All the children got sweet boxes. This year the campaign gathered 1,600 children from 29 districts of Brest, Gomel, Grodno and Minsk regions affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Amid the complicated epidemiological situation, the events of the charity program were held in compliance with all necessary safety measures.
The organizers of the project are the Chernobyl Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry, the BRSM Youth Union, the Belarusian Peace Foundation, the Belarusian Exarchate and other stakeholders.