Very soon, Ukrainians and the whole world will celebrate one of the most significant events in the history of world Orthodoxy - the Day of the Baptism of Rus.
On July 26, 27 and 28, the team of Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel will hold a truly large-scale festive marathon dedicated to the 1033rd anniversary of the adoption of Christianity by Kyivan Rus'.
Hundreds of journalists of our channel, consisting of 50 film crews, as part of a three-day marathon, will cover events that, like a thousand years ago, unite all of Ukraine and the entire Orthodox world. From Luhansk to Lutsk and from Chernihiv to Sevastopol – on these days all of Ukraine and representatives of local churches will gather in the stronghold of Ukrainian Orthodoxy - the Holy Dormition Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.
Together with the journalists of Pershiy Nezalezhniy, each of our viewers will be able to touch upon truly historical events and become part of the great procession dedicated to the day of the Christianization of Rus.
On Monday, July 26, at 21:00 in every region of Ukraine, the journalists of Pershiy Nezalezhniy, together with pilgrims from all dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, will begin their journey to the Volodymyr Hill. Pilgrims from more distant regions will cover this distance by train, and pilgrims from the nearest one will come by foot, and all will be united by common prayer.
On Tuesday, July 27, from the very morning, our team will broadcast live how the pilgrims of the UOC travel hundreds of kilometers in order to participate in the congregational prayer on the day of the Baptism of Rus.
At 13:00 Pershiy Nezalezhniy will start broadcasting the prayer service, which will take place on Saint Volodymyr Hill near the Volodymyr the Great Monument. The festive service will be headed by the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Onufriy.
After the prayer service, the believers will traditionally set off in procession from Saint Volodymyr Hill to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, from where Pershiy Nezalezhniy will broadcast live.
Throughout the day, our journalists will broadcast the congratulatory words from the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra, Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra, Sviatohirsk Dormition Zimnensky Monastery, Koretsky Holy Trinity Monastery.
In addition, we expect broadcasts with Orthodox Christians who are now in the territories temporarily not controlled by Ukraine. It is very important that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the only Ukrainian institution that to this day continues its activities on the other side of the checkpoint, uniting the Ukrainian people.
The heads and representatives of local churches will also be able to join the celebrations of the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ in the live broadcast of Pershiy Nezalezhniy.
At 17:00 in the Dormition Cathedral of the Lavra, an evening prayer service will begin, which will be led by Metropolitan Onufriy, jointly with the hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and representatives of the Local Churches.
At the same time, the journalists of Pershiy Nezalezhniy will hold the main talk show of Ukraine Pulse as part of the celebration of the Day of the Baptism of Rus.
On Wednesday, July 28, at 08:30 on the square in front of the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the Divine Liturgy will begin on the day of commemoration of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Volodymyr the Great, the Baptizer of Rus.
After the liturgy, the Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, managing director of the UOC, in an interview with our TV channel, will talk about the history of the Day of the Baptism of Rus.
At 13:00, an International media project ‘People’ will start on Pershiy Nezalezhniy, in which the hosts of the TV channel with the guests of the studio will discuss the significance of the Day of the Baptism of Rus for Ukraine and for each individual person and the development of human civilization in general.
Famous Christians from different countries will be the guests of the marathon: theologian and catechist Sergei Komarov, international observer Seva Novgorodsev, writer and journalist Vasily Anisimov, heads of the international organization Day of the Baptism of Rus, which established the modern tradition of the annual celebration of the Day of the Christianization of Rus, rock musician Oleg Karamazov, and producer Yuriy Molchanov.
In addition, on air of our TV channel, starting from July 6, the multi-episode cartoon ‘The Legend of the Baptism of Rus’ will be shown, which tells about the history of the Christianization of Rus - from the sermon of the Apostle Andrew (1st century AD) to its baptism by the Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr (10th century).
In addition, on July 28, a concert dedicated to the Day of the Baptism of Rus will be broadcasted on air of Pershiy Nezalezhniy with the participation of the bands DDT, The Karamazov Brothers and famous, iconic people of our time.
From 17:00 to 18:00 on air of our channel, viewers will be able to watch Oksana Marchenko's auteur cinema ‘The Pilgrimess. A Tale of Baptism.’
From 18:00 to 21:00, the journalists of Pershiy Nezalezhniy will hold a special broadcast ‘The Results of the Procession,’ where together with the guests of the studio they will remember how the three-day celebrations took place in Ukraine, and also analyze all the challenges the believers of the UOC faced during the festive procession.
Why is the Day of the Baptism of Rus' so important for every Orthodox Christian?
A little over a thousand years ago, the greatest event took place on the initiative of Prince Volodymyr the Great - the Christianization of Rus, which changed the entire course of Russian history.
In 988, Prince Volodymyr the Great was baptized in Chersonesos and was named Vasyl. Returning to Kyiv, accompanied by the Korsun and Greek priests, the prince baptized the inhabitants of the city. On the appointed day, the residents of Kyiv gathered on the banks of the Dnipro River. All Kyivites entered the river, adults held babies in their arms, priests on the bank read prayers, and Saint Volodymyr prayed to God and entrusted himself and his people to Him.
After that, the Christianization of the rest of Rus’ began.
Now on this day, July 28, the church celebrates the memory of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr and the Day of the Baptism of Rus. Also on this day, the UOC, with the blessing of the ever-memorable His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, celebrates an additional day of remembrance of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, since it was this apostle - the first disciple of Christ - who blessed our land by opening the doors to Orthodoxy for the Eastern Slavs, and hoisted the Cross on the Kyiv hills.
Pershy Nezalezhniy TV channel is a news and analytical TV channel created by a team of journalists from 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels, which were illegally closed by the authorities; the president is Yehor Benkendorf.
The channel began broadcasting in February 2021. The broadcasting is carried out 24 hours a day. The satellite broadcasting of the Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel was illegally disconnected by the authorities an hour after the start of the broadcast. The channel is currently available for viewing on the Internet.