KIEV: February 13, 2018
A representative of the Russian Church Abroad participates in a conference Hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) and the Beginning of Persecutions on the Orthodox Church in the 20th Century at Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra

On February 7-8, 2018, Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra in Kiev, Ukraine, hosted a conference titled Hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) and the Beginning of Persecutions on the Orthodox Church in the 20th Century.

The Lavra, the National Kievo-Pechersk Historical-Cultural Memorial and the International Institute for the Legacy of Mt Athos were the sponsors.

The event opened with the celebration of Divine Liturgy at the Trapezniy Church, where the relics of Hieromartyr Vladimir of Kiev and Galicia were brought to from the Dalny Caves. His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was the chief celebrant along with a host of bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

At the conference opening, Protopriest Serafim Gan read a greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, after which he read a lecture at the plenary session titled The Glorification of Hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) and the New Martyrs by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad in 1981: How it Happened. Fr Serafim described how the list of saints were compiled and confirmed, the interesting conversations held by the bishops at the time, about the recovery and confirmation methods of the relics of St Elizabeth and Nun Barbara and about the actual canonization ceremonies.

At the end of his speech, Fr Serafim noted Many in the Russian Church Abroad considered the end of the Khrushchev-era persecutions one of the spiritual fruits of the preparation and canonization of St John of Kronstadt. That is why the glorification of Hieromartyr Vladimir and other New Martyrs was viewed by the archpastors, clergy and flock as a harbinger of the greater hope of the emancipation of the Church in the Homeland. And indeed, the perestroika era began but a few years later, which led to the widespread celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, and the beginning of the renascence of Holy Orthodoxy in the Fatherland. Without a doubt, the historic steps taken by the fathers of the Council of Bishops in 1981 served to widen the veneration of the new saints throughout the world, as literature about them was disseminated, and the confirmation of the canonization first of Holy Patriarch Tikhon by the Church in the Homeland in 1989, Hieromartyrs Vladimir and Veniamin and the Saints of Alapaevsk in the 1990s, followed by the glorification of all the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in 2000. This lecture by a delegate of the Russian Church Abroad was heard with great interest.

Over 40 scholars from 11 nations of the world participated in the event. Theologians and historians from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Russia, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, Serbia, France, Great Britain and the United States made presentations. The conference was divided into three section: the martyric podvig of Metropolitan Vladimir and beginning of the persecutions of the Church; the repressive policies of the Soviet regime against religion and the Church, and the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia: their podvig, legacy and memory.


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