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Belarusian Leader Lukashenko Calls for Orthodox Church Reform

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://en.rian.ru/world/20130726/182440745/Belarusian-Leader-Lukashenko-Calls-for-Orthodox-Church-Reform.html Belarusian Leader Lukashenko Calls for Orthodox
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2013
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      http://en.rian.ru/world/20130726/182440745/Belarusian-Leader-Lukashenko-Calls-for-Orthodox-Church-Reform.html

      Belarusian Leader Lukashenko Calls for Orthodox Church Reform
      © RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin
      19:48 26/07/2013

      MINSK, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
      said Friday that the Orthodox Church was due for reforms to make
      practicing religion more comfortable for believers.

      “I support gradual reforms of our Church, starting with the [use of Old
      Slavic] language and prolonged services, as there are many elderly women
      [among churchgoers] and they often simply cannot stand through prayer
      services,” Lukashenko told reporters in Minsk.

      He said the services should be “brief, compact and more modern,” and the
      believers should be able to take a pew rather than stand for hours
      through a prayer.

      He also spoke against the construction of “imposing gigantic” churches,
      insisting that a house of worship “should be comfortable and pleasing to
      the soul.”

      The Belarusian leader said the Orthodox Church must develop in step with
      society, carefully responding to social trends whether they are good or bad.

      “The whole world is changing, deviating from the path that we and
      Orthodox Church would want it to go,” Lukashenko said. “As the world is
      changing, the Church must change as well.”

      According to 2010 statistics, 50 percent of Belarus’ population, or
      about 4.5 million people, are Orthodox believers. Catholics make up
      12-15 percent.

      The Orthodox Church this year celebrates the 1025th anniversary of the
      Christianization of Kievan Rus, a medieval state comprising parts of
      modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
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