1025 years ago an event happened on the bank of the Dnieper River which made an impact on the whole course of world history. Prince Vladimir baptized the Kievan Rus’.

On that day, the Russian statehood was born in the Dnieper baptismal font. A new country, a new nation, was born with its own special system of moral coordinates. As the Kievan Metropolitan Hilarion once wrote, “the Russians were the last to embrace Orthodoxy only to be the first in Christianity”. And it happened so. For a thousand years Rus’-Russia became the largest Orthodox power in the world. And even the years of persecution against the Church and severe repressions against the clergy and faithful and the rigid atheistic propaganda failed to kill the faith and spirit of Orthodoxy in the Russian people. Churches were closed; monasteries were destroyed; priests were exiled, but the faith remained in people’s hearts. And in 1988, when the party leaders of the Soviet Union allowed to celebrate the millennium of the Baptism of Rus’ on the national level, millions of people came to churches for festive events. This made a beginning of the spiritual re-birth of Russia which continues to this day.

For 25 years the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and around the world has built 25 thousand churches, a thousand churches a year, three churches a day. The history of Christianity has seen nothing of the kind.

Participating in the film are Patriarch Kirill and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Estonia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan and other countries.

You will also see unique sequences showing monastic tonsures, priestly ordinations, chronicles about the renowned Starets Ioann Krestyankin and hear a parable told by the living Starets Iliya.

Author and anchor: Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

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