Lukashenko hopes Russian Church to actively help in strengthening Slavic unity

Byelorussian President Alexander Lukashenko believes the Russian Orthodox Church will be more active in building unity between Byelorussia and Russia. "We much anticipate and believe that the Russian Orthodox Church should become a more active participant in the process of uniting our states, and perhaps even in uniting Slavic civilization based on Byelorussia, Ukraine and Russia," Lukashenko told journalists in Minsk speaking on the results of his Friday meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

"I asked the Patriarch to get involved in these questions," he said.

According to Lukashenko, he informed Patriarch Kirill about Byelorussian-Russian relations, "about the problems that are not worth sixpence, but suppress creating of this center of Slavic, Orthodox civilization."

He is convinced that "the Church shouldn't stand apart from the processes (of allied building - IF).

Commenting on a long conversation he had with the Patriarch, the Byelorussian head confessed, "We were very frank. God forbid anyone could ever learn what and how we were talking. It's our private matters connected with our Slavic unity."

The President said they also discussed relations between Orthodox and Catholic Churches and Patriarch Kirill "opened his eyes on many issues."

Lukashenko also stressed that Patriarch Kirill stood for "strengthening the entire Christian world" and the Russian Church Primate "doesn't reject Catholics, the Catholic world."

Source: Interfax religion