The Orthodox Mission – 1140 years since the passing of Saint Cyril, Apostle of the Slavs
A three-day international conference entitled “The Orthodox Mission – 1140 years since the passing of Saint Cyril, Apostle of the Slavs” was organized in Prague on May 22-24 by the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
The conference was attended by representatives of almost all the Orthodox Churches, including those from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, and the Churches of Cyprus, Greece and Poland. Representatives of the Orthodox Russian Church Outside of Russia were also present. The Church of Cyprus was represented by His Eminence Bishop Porphyrios of Neapolis.
The conference began with welcoming addresses by His Beatitude Christoforos, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Czech and Slovak Republics, and by the Russian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, who hosted the conference at the Russian Cultural Centre. These were followed by addresses by the representatives of the participating Churches.
Papers were presented by His Beatitude Christoforos, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Czech and Slovak Republics, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nikolaos Ioannides, Professor at the School of Theology of the Kapodistrian University of Athens, and Antonis Tachiaos, Professor Emeritus at the School of Theology of the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki. Their papers examined the work of the brothers from Thessaloniki, Saints Cyril and Methodius, in Moravia and its beneficial effects on both the Slavic world and the Orthodox Church.
Finally, a fruitful dialogue and discussion took place on the conference topic, views were expressed concerning the progress of the Orthodox Mission in the 21st century and evidence was heard about a variety of problems faced by Orthodox missionaries, particularly in the countries of Africa.
On Saturday May 23, a hierarchical divine liturgy was conducted on the ruins of the Byzantine basilica at Mikulcice, where Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius began their work. After the service, a monument to the saints was unveiled on the site.
On Sunday, May 24, a hierarchical divine liturgy was conducted at the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague, led by the His Beatitude Christoforos, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Czech and Slovak Republics. The service was followed by a final conference meal.