On the 3rd of October President Alexander Lukashenko met in Istanbul with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
The Eastern Orthodox Church of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous Orthodox churches in the world. In terms of its significance, the Patriarchate of Constantinople ranks first on the list of autocephalous Orthodox churches.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople is one of the most respected and revered hierarchs of the Orthodox Church. In 2008 the Times included him on the list of 100 most influential persons in the world. Patriarch Bartholomew I is widely known for his environmental agenda. He is the initiator of numerous international ecological conferences (for example, the conferences raising the ecological problems facing the Danube River and the Black Sea).
The meeting between the President of the Republic of Belarus and Patriarch Bartholomew I was blessed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Patriarch Bartholomew I gave a warm welcome to Alexander Lukashenko. The meeting was marked by the atmosphere of warmth and trust. The Belarusian Leader and the Patriarch discussed relations between the Church and the society. Alexander Lukashenko gave Patriarch an in-depth account of the today's state of relations between the authorities and the Orthodox Church in Belarus, of the inter-confessional situation in our country and of the uniqueness and beauty of Belarusian nature.
Alexander Lukashenko said he would be glad to welcome Patriarch Bartholomew I to Minsk any time.
After his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I, Alexander Lukashenko visited an Orthodox church, got acquainted with the sacred objects at the temple and lit a candle.