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International forum in Minsk to discuss Sts Cyril and Methodius's legacy in spiritual culture


The 25th International Saints Cyril and Methodius readings “The Legacy of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the World Spiritual Culture” were officially opened in the Johannes Rau Minsk International Center for Education and Exchange on 30 May, BelTA has learned.

Welcoming remarks from Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus to the forum were read out by Borovlyany Bishop, Vicar of the Minsk Eparchy Ignaty. Metropolitan Pavel said that the Saints Cyril and Methodius readings have been held for a quarter of a century, and this speaks volumes about their important role and mission. The organizers of the readings seek to continue the course of Saints Cyril and Methodius, by successfully promoting the theological science and related disciplines in Belarus. The forum is designed to highlight the role of the Christian values in the national culture, public and social order, people's daily lives.

“It is very important that the forum runs a students' section giving voice to the young generation of theologians and religious studies experts. The forum gives young people the opportunity to develop skills of scientific thinking, share their knowledge, and most importantly, feel part of the great tradition of the brothers - missionaries Cyril and Methodius,” the message from the Metropolitan reads.

“The feat of Saints Cyril and Methodius is a source of inspiration for the people in the 21st century. Culture based on the Cyril and Methodius legacy, on the one hand, preserves the memory of the past but, on the other, serves as a platform for the development of many innovations and active moving forward. I hope that the forum will promote the consolidation of sound forces of our society, will contribute to the international and inter-religious peace and harmony, mutual understanding between people,” Metropolitan of Minsk and said Zaslavl Pavel said. Belarus values highly the role of the Orthodox Church, Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs of Belarus Leonid Gulyako said.

“Spiritual revival, restoration of Belarusian cathedrals, our close cooperation in upbringing and promoting morality and compassion contribute to our country's prosperity,” he said. The International Saints Cyril and Methodius Readings is a unique platform for dialogue, exchange of opinions, promotion of Christian missions in the modern world, said Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus, Archbishop Gabor Pinter.

Metropolitan of Minsk and Mogilev, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz stressed that Saints Cyril and Methodius represent a spiritual bridge that unites eastern and western Christian traditions. “Europe of the 21st century should return to them in order to be Europe of spirit, not Europe of spiritless euro. The ideas of Cyril and Methodius are still relevant as the world is seeking ways to address numerous religious, economic, political and international problems to arrive at the long-awaited unity,” he said.

The second day of the conference will be held at the Institute of Theology of the Belarusian State University and the Saints Methodius and Cyril Christian Education Center which hosted the first readings. The forum will wrap up with the roundtable session.

Attending year's event are more than 200 specialists, including scholars from Belarus, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Poland, and Latvia.

The annual Cyril and Methodius Readings have been regularly held for the past 25 years. They draw specialists and scholars from CIS and non-CIS countries who specialize in theology, history, philosophy, cultural and religious studies. The forum is the best way to get familiar with scholarly works in humanities, discuss problems of intercultural and interdenominational dialogue, Christian spirituality and its importance for the modern world.

The forum is organized by the Saints Methodius and Cyril Christian Educational Center, Johannes Rau International Center for Education and Exchange, National Library of Belarus, Saints Methodius and Cyril Institute of Theology, the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, and the Minsk Theological Academy. The forum is held with the assistance of the Minsk City Hall, the Belarusian Exarchate, Culture Ministry and Education Ministry.

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