Lukashenko: Church should be part of state

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MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – Сhurch should be part of state, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he delivered his annual Address to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly on 31 March, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that he did not understand the talks about making a treaty between church and state. Aleksandr Lukashenko had previously discussed this topic with the church hierarchs and the late Metropolitan Filaret.

Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed the opinion that we could still talk about a certain agreement between church and authorities, but not state. “Church should be part of state. Do you want to separate from the state and stay outside?” the Belarusian leader stressed.

He also made a few suggestions about the way the Orthodox Church works in terms of the congregation and church attendance. For example, he suggested installing benches in Orthodox churches so that the seniors could take a seat. However, such a remark should not be taken as a criticism of the church, the president said.

According to the head of state, representatives of all denominations should play a role in popularizing classical family values, and their voice in this matter should be stronger. “It is time to roll up our sleeves and work together,” the president stressed.

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