Within the space of 100 years the Kyiv Rus state created some of the most beautiful artistic and architectural monuments of medieval Christianity in Europe, such as the St. Sophia Cathedral or the magnificence of the church-monastery complex of the Kyiv Caves Monastery. Although Kyiv was ravaged many times through the ages by the Tatars, the Muscovites and the Germans during World War II, many monuments have survived to this day.
One thousand and thirty years ago Prince Volodymyr directed his people to be baptised by immersion in the River Dnieper and accepted the Christian faith. This dramatic conversion reaffirms the faith and religious beliefs to this day. Following the conversion, the early Ukrainians developed into strong believers and proponents of their faith. The rich legacy of Ukraine’s Christianity is evident in the culture and customs of the Ukrainian people as well as in the faith of believers, in Ukraine and in the Diaspora. This is evident in the Byzantine rite, the church traditions, in the Slavonic liturgical language, the church music and in various other forms of devotion, which have taken such deep root in the life of the Ukrainian people.
The question arises, how is this 1030 celebration be commemorated. Most likely there are several aspects of tradition that are going to be acknowledged and the foremost is the fact of that Ukraine will further implant the Christian religious experience on the territory with all of its sociological and cultural manifestations. Probably the aspect of the evolution, adaptation, and the continuance of having Christianity in Ukraine flourish but in many forms and dominations. Therefore it is in the interest of Ukrainians Canadians to preserve and celebrate the one thousand and thirty years of Christianity of Ukraine.
Ukrainians should learn more about their religious traditions, the roots of their heritage and how they can play a significant role in Canada; in history and in the spiritual life. In light of the tremendous impact that Christianity has made on the historical evolution of the Ukrainian people, the 1030 celebration will be significantly important in the eyes of all Ukrainian Canadians. In 2018, Ukrainian Canadians will look upon this celebration as an opportunity to highlight their Christianity along with their brethren and to teach the world the true history of their faith and perseverance.
The seeds planted in 988 bore great fruit over the centuries. The Ukrainian Church became a spiritual haven for its people during the times of national strife and enslavement; guiding them to great aesthetic achievements in times of freedom and statehood. Prince Volodymyr’s single act brought Christianity to Ukraine and Christianity has made a tremendous impact on the historical evolution in Ukraine and abroad.