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KURSK: July 27, 2017
A Delegation of Clergy and Youth from the Russian Church Abroad Participates in the 10th International Conference Concord of Orthodox Youth

From July 14-30, 2017, the Korennaya Pilgrim Center near the Kursk-Root Hermitage in Russia is hosting the 10th International Conference Concord of Orthodox Youth. The theme of the event is the celebration throughout the Orthodox world of the 10th anniversary of the reestablishment of unity between the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Over the ten years that these conferences have been held, thanks to the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR, over a thousand young people from 23 countries of various continents of the world have participated, including delegates from Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Venezuela, Germany, Israel, Canada, Latvia, Moldavia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Finland, France, Montenegro, the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Attending these events, they got to know each other, strengthen cooperation and foster spiritual bonds between Orthodox Christians of the world, which are the main goals of the events organizers.

This year, 80 young people from 8 nations gathered to show their unity on the basis of spiritual foundations. This years group also includes kids from Tatarstan, Crimea, Samara and Krasnodarsk.

As is customary, the youth first met with His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk at Korennaya Pilgrims Center. He warmly greeted the young people and told them about the history of his diocese and its programs, and noted the importance of continuing such gatherings. The archpastor of Kursk wished them success in their work, and heartfelt Christian communion with each other. An event banner was raised at the center, after which Vladyka German led a procession of the cross with a painted copy of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign to Kursk-Root Hermitage. At the monasterys gates, its Prior, Hegumen Seraphim (Kotelnikov), and his monks greeted the procession. Metropolitan German then performed a moleben for the commencement of a good deed in the Church of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God. He then told the delegation about the history of the hermitage, inseparably bound to the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God.

The meeting with the archpastor ended with a general photograph in front of a memorial statue called Reunification, depicting Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York, together holding the Kursk-Root Icon. Thanks to their wisdom and profound grasp of the history of the Russian nation, the division within the Russian Orthodox Church, which began during the Revolution and subsequent Civil War, was finally overcome. In 2007, they signed the Act of Canonical Communion in the presence of the world-renowned icon, the Hodigitria of the Russian diaspora.

The official opening of the conference was held on July 15 at Zvezdny Cultural Center, at which delegates from each country talked about life in their part of the world, and performed music, dance and poetry.

During the Kursk stage of the conference, the delegates will participate in divine services in the main churches of the city and the hermitage, and will be taken on excursions to St Sergius-Kazan and Znamensky Cathedrals and Holy Trinity Convent. The event also includes visits along the Golden Ring of Russian cities surrounding Moscow: Sergiev Posad, Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Great Rostov and Pereslavl-Zalessky.

The conference will include divine services, workshops, meetings with clergymen, other youth organizations, round-tables on spiritual and moral education, cultural evenings, as well as an anniversary meeting with participants in the first 9 conferences in Moscow. A formal ball will conclude the conference, as is customary, on July 30.

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