A solemn divine service was celebrated at the crossing place of Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian borders on 29 June 2013, preceding the traditional International Festival of Slavic Nations.
After the liturgy, clergy and official delegations took part in the opening of the festival marking the 1025thanniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
Flags were hoisted and the national anthems of Ukraine, Byelorussia and Russia were performed. Mr. Yury Bogutsky, advisor to the President of Ukraine and head of the Presidential Administration Chief Office for Humanitarian Development, read out a message from Mr. Viktor Yanukovych. Greeting the participants in the festival were also Mr. Alexander Beglov, Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation to the Central Federal District; Mr. Vladimir Khomenko, head of the Chernigov Regional Administration; Mr. Vladimir Dvornik, head of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee; Mr. Nikolai Denin, Governor of the Bryansk region; Mr. Anatoliy Lis, advisor to the President of the Republic of Belarus and chief inspector for the Gomel region.
The Assembly was attended by parliamentary delegations from member states including Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, as well as groups of deputies from Australia, USA and a number of countries in Asia and Africa.
Statement of the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.
According to PTC news agency, on June 28, 2013, a group of Albanian extremists committed an organized attack on a column of school buses taking Serbian children home from the celebrations on the occasion of the national holiday ‘Vidovdan’, the Day of the Kosovo Battle against the Ottoman Empire.
Residents living near the Russian Ascension Convent in East Jerusalem (the Arab part of the city) are plaguing the Monastery.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch recieved on June 22nd Right Revd Geoffrey Rowell, Anglican Bishop of Europe. His Grace Bishop Andrej of Remesiana, Vicar to the Serbian Patriarch, and presbyter Vladimir Vranic attended the meeting. Bishop Rowell visited His Holiness to inform him about his announced retirement from the bishop's throne in November of current year.