1025TH ANNIVERSARY OF BAPTISM OF KYIVAN RUS, THE MEDIEVAL SLAVIC STATE THAT WAS THE ORIGIN OF UKRAINE AND RUSSIA

CWN on July 23, 2013, reported that the heads of the nine of the world’s 15 autocephalous Orthodox churches are traveling to Kyiv, Ukraine’s largest city, to commemorate the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus’, the medieval Slavic state that helped give birth to modern Russia and Ukraine. Celebrations are beginning on July 27 in the Ukrainian capital. Excerpts below:

John Paul II referred to the baptism of Kievan Rus’ several times during his pontificate, perhaps at greatest length in a letter to Cardinal Joseph Slipyj. The baptism “took place when the Church in the West and the East was preserving its unity, although it drew abundantly from the two different traditions and belonged to two different human cultures: from this flowed the remarkable richness of the universal Church,” the Pontiff noted. “It was only in the eleventh century that the division came which brought great sorrow and anguish both to the Christians of that time and to the followers of Christ in the succeeding centuries even down to our own day.”

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