A representative of Russian Church participated in a Biblical marathon together with Benedict XVI

A Bible reading marathon organized by Vatican television together with the state Italian TV company RAI was launched in Rome last Sunday. This weeklong project will feature 1248 specially selected readers who will recite Bible in the Italian language non-stop, from the first to the last page.

The marathon was lead by Pope Benedict XVI reciting the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. He was immediately followed by Bishop of Vienna and Austria Hilarion, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in European international organizations, who recited the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, the Bishop's press service reported to Interfax-Religion Monday.

Renowned Italian actors, intellectuals, high-ranking representative of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian organizations will participate in the reading of further chapters.

The first hour of the project was aired live by RAI-Uno and Eurovision. Live broadcast of the following days will be led by RAI-Education, several satellite channels and Radio Vaticana.

"It was for the first time that the largest state-owned TV channel had initiated live broadcast of reading the whole Bible. At the time when secular television pays so little attention to religious issues, this project seems critically important," Bishop Hilarion said to Interfax-Religion.

According to him, the project has an important missionary meaning, as due to this initiative "Bible will enter homes of many people who speak Italian."

Source: Interfax religion