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MINSK, July 29 (Itar-Tass) - Over 20,000 believers have taken part in an historical praying service devoted to the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
For the first time in the history of Belarus the hierarchs of all Local Orthodox Churches, including nine patriarchs, have jointly conducted the praying service. Pilgrims from Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and Latvia have arrived in Minsk to attend the festivities.
The service was held in open air at the Minsk Citadel (the historical area of the city where it was founded).
Addressing the audience after the service, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said: “The solemn Orthodox Liturgy is a symbol of our terrestrial and celestial unity.” The key purpose of the jubilee is that “we thought about our life and attracted God’s blessing by our prayer”, he said.
Russian patriarch stressed that the Baptism of Rus “is an act of relationship between people and God that is why the Orthodox Church preserve its unity for centuries”.
The liturgy was attended by the city authorities, as well as Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev.
The Liturgy in Minsk has ended solemn festivities devoted to the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. Earlier, such services were held at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and on the Vladimirskaya Gorka.