Christians Celebrate 1,027 Years and Pray for Peace

Vladimir the Great

Vladimir the Great 

2015/07/29 • Culture, Ukraine

This Sunday, August 2, 2015 at 18:00 at St. Michael’s Square, hundreds of believers representing all Christian denominations in Ukraine are expected to gather for a Prayer Concert to thank God for 1,027 years of Christianity in Rus-Ukraine and to pray for their country.
In the 10th Century, Volodymyr (Vladimir) the Great’s conversion to Christianity and its values transformed him from a conquering tyrant infamous for misogyny and cruel barbarism, to a peaceful ruler who supported justice, abolished the death penalty, and was known for his piety and generosity to the poor. Ukrainian Christians call for a return to morality and peace in Ukraine.
Ukrainian’s popular Christian singer Roman Vashchuk, who sang on Maidan in December of 2014, is one of the artists scheduled to perform. He invites all to come: “Today, more than ever, our nation needs your prayers to God, that here would not be the ruins of war and destruction, but that here would be peace, welfare and prosperity. So come and pray together, with all, for the fate of our country.”

Historical Note:

* Volodymyr the Great wanted to unite his kingdom around one national religion, and sent out his counselors to research the different religions of the nations nearby.  The following excerpts from the article 988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity at ChristianHistory.net tells us several reasons why he chose Christianity:

“He opted for Orthodoxy because of its beautiful worship. Orthodoxy was also the religion of the most powerful, wealthy, and civilized.. Impressed by Orthodoxy’s beauty, he also was impressed by another beauty: Anna, sister of Byzantine emperors Basil II and Constantine, who offered her to Volodymyr as a bride with the condition that he be baptized.

In 988 Volodymyr was baptized. In 989 he married Anna.

Significant for church history, Volodymyr then ordered all the inhabitants of Kyiv to appear at the Dnipro River for baptism or be considered enemies of the kingdom. This doesn’t mean that the Slavic nation became a Christian society overnight. But with the help of monks, always a prime force in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the new religion began to make its influence felt.

As for Volodymyr himself, his lifestyle was clearly affected. When he married Anna, he put away his five former wives. Not only did he build churches, he also destroyed idols, abolished the death penalty, protected the poor, established schools, and managed to live in peace with neighboring nations. On his deathbed he gave all his possessions to the poor.”

Editor’s note: Excerpts edited to use Ukrainian proper nouns

Roman Vashchuk on Maidan in 2014

Roman Vashchuk at the Maidan Revolution, December 2014

Source: CatholicOnline
Source: ChristianHistory.net

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  • puttypants

    I want to remind the author of this story that in 988 these were not Russian borders. Please correct this Russian lie!!!

  • puttypants

    Once again. The Russian church? Holy cow who is this author? She can’t possibly be Ukrainian! Euromaiden Press you have been corrupted!

    • Nowhere Girl

      Chill out, it’s not a huge mistake and certainly only made because of oversight. I believe that if the article was in Polish, it would clearly be written: “ruska cerkiew”. Indeed, fot that time “rosyjska” would have been an anachronism because there was no Russia yet, but Volodymyr’s whole land was called Rus’.

      • puttypants

        No more chilling out..no more pretending like there was a Russia at that time. That’s what I said there was no Russia and author should not have used the name Russia anywhere in her article refering to that time. I’m sick and tired of that kind of disinformation and it’s time it stopped NOW.

        • Lisa Mariposa Recneps

          Dear Puttypants, Thank you. I am a volunteer, still learning about the vast history of Ukraine, and equally frustrated with the lack of accurate facts in available research. Corrections have been made. My sincere apologies, and thank you for taking a stand for truth in Ukraine, its history, its present, and its future!

          http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/05/14/how-moscow-hijacked-the-history-of-kyivan-rus/

          • Peter K

            Ms. Recneps, thank you for making corrections to this article. I apologize being rude in my comment above. Accurate information about Ukraine and its history is hard to find, but not impossible, and it can be frustrating to see blatant falsehoods frequently written about Ukrainian history, and, especially, the Ukrainian Church. An excellent and free source of English-language information about Ukraine is the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine, published by the University of Toronto and Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. The link is available below.

            http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/

            Please do not allow the internet-rantings of some over-reacting “Ukro-fascists” dissuade you from learning more about Ukraine.

            Best Wishes to you in the future!

      • Peter K

        It’s not a huge mistake but it is a significant mistake since it contributes to a false understanding of Ukrainians as somehow “split” from Russians. The English word “Ruthenian” or just plain “Rus'” used as an adjective would have fit perfectly in place of anachronistic and incorrect “Russian”.

  • puttypants

    I expect the author to correct all her reference to Russia in this article. It’s a lie! Russia did not become Russia until Peter 1! She must have been reading a Russian history book.

  • EUSrbin

    Congratulations from Serbia, we support Ukraine and don’t recognize Russian occupation.

  • Peter K

    MS. RECNEPS AND EUROMAIDANPRESS – THANK YOU FOR MAKING CORRECTIONS!
    ——————————————————–
    “Though it adopted the Byzantine
    religion, the ‘Russian’ church has always been independent.” – THIS STATEMENT IS COMPLETELY WRONG!

    The Orthodox Church Kyivan Rus’ never enjoyed any sort of autonomy or autocephaly whatsoever. The Church in Kyiv was headed not by an autocephalous Patriarch, but a Metropolitan appointed from Constantinople. For the first hundred years of the Metropoly of Kyiv’s existance, all but one of the reigning Metropolitans were Greeks. Greeks still dominated the Metropoly for centuries afterwards.

    The Muscovite (Russian) Church only attained de-facto independence in 1448 after the council of Florence, when Muscovite churchmen excommunicated their resident metropolitan in Moscow and appointed their own non-canonical metropolitans for the next century-and-a-half, until Muscovite authorities could afford to bribe the Patriarch of Constantinople into elevating their Metropolitan to an Autocephalous Patriarch.

    The Orthodox Church in Ukraine (and Belarus), however, remained under the Constantinople Patriarch’s jurisdiction until 1686, when the Metropoly of Kyiv was formally transferred to the authority of the Moscow Patriarchy. Ukrainian Catholics avoided this transfer, however, as their own Metropolitan in Lviv was formally under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Rome (ie, the Pope).

    So, really, the Russian church was not independent until 1589, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church only achieved independence in the 20th century. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is autonomous but not truly independent (but that comes with the territory).

  • Eddy Verhaeghe

    “On his deathbed he gave all his possessions to the poor.”

    I don’t see most of the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs follow in Volodymyr the Great’s footsteps.
    Nowadays it’s more of an Anglo-Saxon & Western tradition (e.g. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, etc…).