Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived in Minsk by train on 28 July to participate in the celebrations in honor of the 1025th anniversary of the Christianization of Russia.
Alongside with Patriarch Kirill, Minsk has welcomed Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, Metropolitan of Warsaw Sawa and Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada. The train has also brought the cross of St Andrew the Apostle. The cross was first taken to the Minsk church blessed in honor of the Apostle (19 Malinina Street). After that it was brought to the square near the Palace of Sports, the venue of the open-air service, which is expected to be held by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia together with the heads and representatives of other Orthodox churches.
The service will begin at 9h30 on 29 July. It will be preceded by a sacred procession from the Church of St Mary Magdalene (42 Kiseleva Street) along Masherova Avenue towards Pobeditelelei Avenue. After the liturgy the patriarchs will lay a commemorative letter into the foundation of the oldest Orthodox church of the 11th century in Minsk. The cross of St Andrew the Apostle will be kept at the Church of All Saints until 2 August.
A concert in Minsk downtown is scheduled for 14h00. This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Fire Memorial in Victory Square at 18h00. The event will conclude with a grand concert at the Church of All Saints.
More than 50,000 pilgrims from all the eparchies of the Belarusian Exarchate and neighboring states are expected to attend the celebrations of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia in Minsk.