ukashenko lights candle in Holy Cross Exaltation Church in Minsk to mark Christmas
MINSK, 7 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko lit a candle at the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Minsk to mark Christmas on 7 January, BelTA has learned.
“This is a joyful and kind holiday. We all hope that it will bring us not only good things but also miracles. Such holidays, my favorite ones, show that each of us make their own journey to God. This is very important," said the president.
He expressed his conviction that those who go to churches seek peace, forgiveness, and Christian values. “More than two thousand years ago Christmas became a certain starting point in the history of the new civilization, the new world order of love, justice, kindness and mercy. These traits are absolutely inherent in the Belarusian people, in this or that extent. But in general, honesty, decency and fairness are in our DNA,” said the head of state.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned the ongoing pandemic, noting that he has been carefully analyzing the situation during the second wave as he did during the first one. “In fact, I am living by it, because it is a very important moment in the life of the Belarusian society,” he said.
The president said that God keeps Belarus safe, especially when compared to what is happening in other countries. “What we see there is a social disaster. God forbid such things happen here. We are grateful to God that He kept us safe during the first wave of the disease and during the second one. It is a sign that we still cherish the holy things that He [Jesus Christ] preached more than two thousand years ago,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“God forbid things get worse,” the president added.
The head of state presented the church with the Icon of the Mother of God The Seeker of the Lost. The icon depicts the image of the Mother of God leaning over the infant Jesus and comforting his grief. By this, the Mother of God represents the last resting place and the last hope for those who have almost taken the fatal step and crossed the threshold of death, both physical and spiritual. The icon was made in the workshop of St. Elisabeth Convent in Minsk.
Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl gave the head of state a bronze model of the Holy Cross Exaltation Church, a souvenir bell and also the book by Nikolai Gavrilov “God shall wipe away every tear”.
The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was built in 2020 in Timiryazeva Street. It is a single-dome temple built in the classical church architecture traditions in the form of a cross with a small baptistery (an annex to the church or a separate building intended for baptism services) in the basement. The church is part of an architectural complex that includes an entrance foyer with a bell tower, a parish house for a Sunday school, and a museum honoring Soviet prisoners of war, the prisoners of Stalag-352 Nazi concentration camp in Minsk.
The new church stands next to the Masyukovshshina Death Camp memorial complex built in honor of over 80,000 prisoners of war and Soviet civilians tortured in the German concentration camp during the Great Patriotic War.