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KIEV, July 22 (Itar-Tass) - The festivities devoted to the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus will culminate in Kiev, Metropolitan Vladimir of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.
In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday, Metropolitan Vladimir said, “Rus was baptized in Kiev. Thus, the festivities culminated in our city. Maybe, it is not incidental that Ukraine was one of the first post-Soviet countries where Rus Baptism Day became a religious and national holiday. The Rus Baptism Day international public movement has begun in Ukraine. So, the festivities will be held in streets and squares.”
In the past years the celebrations have acquired new forms, the Ukrainian metropolitan said. “We want our compatriots to learn about the Orthodox faith and the history thanks to these festivities,” he stressed.
“This day is my Saint’s day - the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of the Russian Land. We also can consider this holiday the day of Our Church - the Kievan Church Day. Prince Vladimir and the people made a choice in favour of Christianity. It became the faith of our people and formed our culture,” Metropolitan Vladimir said.
The Ukrainian metropolitan told Itar-Tass that the festivities would be attended by the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria, as well as by the primates of the Cypriot, Polish and American Churches. “We hope that the delegations of the Constantinople Patriarchate, the Romanian and Albanian Churches will come to Kiev,” he said.
“The liturgy at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and the praying service at the foot of the monument to St Vladimir have become the inalienable part of the festivities,” Metropolitan Vladimir said.
Commenting on the upcoming festivities in Chersonesus, the Ukrainian metropolitan said the celebrations would also take place in the city where “supposedly, Prince St Vladimir was baptized”.