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Author Topic: Baptism of Rus  (Read 817 times) Average Rating: 0
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Rosehip
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« on: July 13, 2008, 09:03:13 AM »

I've been thinking about the query of the young man here who wonders whether or not he should suggest his parents join him in his enthusiasm for Orthodoxy. There've been a lot of good, wise replies. Some have suggested it simply isn't the Orthodox approach to ask  non-Orthodox parents, etc. to attend church. I totally agree.

Having said that, however, my mind has, of late been dwelling upon the 1020th anniversary of the Conversion/Baptism/Christening of Rus, which is presently being marked by our Ukrainian brethren. I have stood and meditated at the supposed site of this event, along the banks of the Dniepr River, before even becoming Orthodox.

Last night I was discussing this anniversary with a sibling, who rolled his eyes and said, "Conversion of Rus? What a joke. More like lining people up at gunpoint!" Of course, different times, different techniques, I guess. But wouldn't we be horrified if our leaders would decide our religious fate and force all citizens of say, the USA, to line up and receive Islam, or even any stripe of Christianity?

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+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Maksim
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 01:48:23 PM »

Quote
Last night I was discussing this anniversary with a sibling, who rolled his eyes and said, "Conversion of Rus? What a joke. More like lining people up at gunpoint!" Of course, different times, different techniques, I guess. But wouldn't we be horrified if our leaders would decide our religious fate and force all citizens of say, the USA, to line up and receive Islam, or even any stripe of Christianity?

Well, Vladimir had the idols destroyed...then again, he put them up in the first place.  But in general :

Quote
The Prince shared the apostolic work of the Greek bishops and priests who went about the towns and villages spreading the true Faith which thousands willingly embraced, although many remained stuck in the mire of paganism. Vladimir grieved for them, but knew that enlightenment was not to be achieved with a sword, Instead, he established schools where even children of the poorest families could learn to read the Scripture and be trained as priests.

{from http://www.roca.org/OA/59-60/59f.htm}

Not to suggest that freedom of religion was the norm a thousand years ago, but as far as I know the saints have always held that you can only truly convert someone by example and persuasion.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 01:52:59 PM by Maksim » Logged
Rosehip
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 07:12:29 PM »

Thanks, Maksim, for the helpful reply. I enjoyed the Orthodox America article! It's been awhile since I've read that newspaper.
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+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Heorhij
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2008, 09:13:36 AM »

It's a hard nut for me to crack. Yes, that event was certainly violent, "at a gunpoint," using the modern language, and it actually converned only a tiny fraction of the population of the Kyiv Rus'. In fact, over the subsequent 400 years or so the "conversion" of bigger parts of the population was extremely violent, bloody; as a chronicle writer wrote about the two military commanders of the Prince's troops, "Dobrynya baptised with a sword, and Putyata with fire." Countless thousands of people, including women, children, and the elserly, were tortured, drowned, burned alive. And still, countless thousands remained un-converted, cherished their Pagan beliefs, either under cover, or mixing them with superficial Orthodox "rite-anity."

Nothing is plain and simple in real history...

« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 09:13:54 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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