"...keep the Orthodox faith"
Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in diaspora urge to keep the Orthodox faith
Members of the permanent conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops Beyond the Borders of Ukraine Issued the Encyclical оn the occasion of the 1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus’-Ukraine.
The bishops urged believers to hold fast to the faith that was given by St. Volodymyr the Great.
“May our All-merciful Lord, through the prayers of our Enlightener, the Holy Great-prince Volodymyr the Great, strengthen us in the Holy Orthodox Faith, help us overcome all the trials of life so that we would be worthy and faithful children of our native Ukrainian Orthodox Church and our ancestral homeland of Ukraine,” reads the encyclical.
Orthodox bishops from the diaspora say that the Christian faith was never alien to Ukrainians. In the first century the gospel was preached by Apostle Andrew on Kyiv hills. During Prince Ihor's reign, Christians built a church of Holy Prophet Elias in Kyiv. Princess Olha played an important role in spreading of Christianity.
“Having become the ruler of the Kyivan state, St. Volodymyr the Great showed himself to be a brutal military leader. Being intrigued, however, by the development of other Christian states, he gradually exchanged his pagan views for Christian ones,” state the bishops.
The bishops of the Orthodox Church from the diaspora emphasize that the Orthodox Church calls Holy Prince Volodymyr Equal to the Apostles.
"This means that in its zeal in preaching the Gospel of Christ, he was imitating holy apostles," they say.
Thanks to God’s providence, Ukraine has maintained its Christian faith through the centuries. With this faith, Ukraine will overcome all obstacles and remain unvanquished and faithful, according to the example of its great Apostle and Baptizer, the Holy Great-prince Volodymyr, “For he is our Apostle, he is our baptist, he is our glorious and Godly renewer,” note the bishops.
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