group of Russian Orthodox Christians has formed an unofficial committee to
organize and carry out various events to mark the Millennium of the
Christianization of Rus' in June this year. In a seven point plan of action, the
committee outlines the following proposals:
1. To organize a mass collection of signatures under
petitions calling for therelease of all prisoners of conscience.
2. To continue collection of signatures under a petition
addressed to the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, calling for
revision of the Stalinist legislation on religious cults in order to restore the
Church's rights--first and foremost, freedom of speech.
3. To support the call made by Archbishop Feodosi of
Astrakhan for the reopening of the Kiev Caves Monastery.
4. During the jubilee celebrations, on June 7 (Feast of the
Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist), to hold a Christian seminar on
historico-theologicaI problems of the Church and the legal status of religion in
the USSR. The aim of the seminar would be to fill in the blank spaces in the
contemporary history of the Church at official Moscow Patriarchal conferences.
5. To call upon the Christian faithful to appeal to the
forthcoming Council (Sobor) of the Russian Orthodox Church to canonize the New
Martyrs of Russia of the 20th century, and to repeal the decisions of the 1961
Council which, due to external pressures, deprived the priesthood of full
participation in parochial affairs.
6. In June 1988, to serve a Liturgy for the persecuted at
which prayers would be offered for the driven and for their persecutors, and
that those who have dared raise their hand against God and His Church be brought
to the knowledge of Divine Truth.
7. To organize a photographic exhibition which would show
the true life of the Church, a festival of Christian art and similar events.
Participation by Christians from abroad is warmly invited.
The document is dated January 31, 1988, and is signed by the following Russian Orthodox activists: Priest Valeri Lapkovsky, Alexander Ogorodnikov, Victor
Aksyuchits, Victor Popkov, Vladimir Osipov, Mlkhail Bombin, Vladimir Poresh, Andrei Bessmertny, Alexi Goncharov, Gleb Anischenko (collection of signatures has not been completed) (KNS 2/4/88)
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