On May 29, the solemn opening of the XXIV International Cyril and Methodius Readings devoted to the theme "Christianity as an integrating factor of world culture" was held in the conference hall of the Minsk City Hall.
The event was held in various locations in Minsk: in the Minsk Theological Academy, the BSU Theological Institute named after Cyril and Methodius, the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts and others.
On May 29-30, within the framework of the Cyril and Methodius readings, the scientific and practical conference "Spiritual Revival of Society and the Orthodox Book" was held.
The forum was attended by more than 80 participants from all regions of Belarus - heads and specialists of public libraries, libraries of institutions of higher and secondary professional education, school and parish libraries, lecturers of universities and ecclesiastical seminaries, teachers of secondary and Sunday schools, priests.
The conference was led by the Archpriest Vladimir Borisevich, Head of the Sector of Parish Libraries of the Publishing Department of the Grodno Diocese; Olga Rynkevich, Chief Librarian of the Library of National Library of Belarus; Tamara Samoylyuk, secretary of the Belarusian Orthodox Church Publishing Board.
The main topics of the conference ("The Book and Reading in the Spiritual Culture of the Nation") is connected with the spiritual and educational mission of libraries, their activities in the spiritual, moral and patriotic education on Orthodox traditions of various social strata.
The forum was directed by the Bishop of the Borisov and Maryina Horka cities Veniamin, the Chairman of the Synodal Department of Religious Education and Catechetics of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and the Chairman of the Coordinating Council for Library Activities. In his greeting speech of the conference the Bishop Veniamin has expressed gratitude to all participants for their faithfulness to the traditions founded by Saint Cyril and Methodius, selfless work on spiritual and moral education of youth, active strengthening in society of the eternal Christian ideals of love, kindness, mercy, peace and creativity.
"Great enlighteners and missionaries, the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Brothers Cyril and Methodius have not only created the Slavic alphabet," said the Bishop Veniamin, "but they became the founders of the Slavic book culture and through it we opened our ancestors and us the way to God. The Enlighteners had laid the tradition of translating sacred and liturgical books, and now the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments have been translated into almost every language of the world. In 2017 a new translation into the modern Belarusian language of the book of the New Testament was published in Belarus. This is the first cathedral translation, over which the Belarusian Biblical Commission of the Belarusian Orthodox Church has been working for almost a quarter of a century".
During the conference, the Bishop Veniamin held the ceremony of handing the book of New Testament in Belarusian, published by the Bible Society in the Republic of Belarus, to representatives of public and school libraries, libraries of colleges and universities, as well as parish libraries of the Belarusian exarchate.
The reports from representatives of the institutes for the development of education in the Vitebsk and Grodno regions, librarians of secondary professional educations, specialists from public and school libraries, priests from different regions of the republic have been made.
The National Library of Belarus has been represented by O. Rynkevich, the chief librarian of the Library Science Department, and O. Sobolevskaya, the chief librarian of the Corporate Interaction Department.
The report by L. Stakhovets, teacher of the Sunday school of the parish of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Cross, St. Volia of the Ivatsevichy region of the Pinsk eparchy, was accompanied by a presentation of books by N.V. Maslov, "The Family" (M., 2017) and "The Meaning of the Imagination in the Life of Man" (M., 2017), dedicated to the Elder of the Glinsky Desert, the moralizing teacher Shiarhimandrite Ioan (Maslov), whose life was connected with Belarus, with the Zhyrovichy Monastery. The books were donated to the participants of the conference.
During the conference, a meeting of the Coordinating Council on Library Activity under the Synodal Department of Religious Education and Catechesis of the Belarusian Orthodox Church were held and directed by the Bishop Veniamin. It should be noted that the 24th International Cyril and Methodius Readings in 2018 were held at a very high organizational and content level.
Summing up the results of the conference "Spiritual Revival of Society and the Orthodox Book", it is important to say about its high scientific and practical level. The conference has demonstrated once again the creative approach of library specialists to the spiritual and educational activities, the search for innovative forms of work in this direction, and, the most important, the demand for systematic and purposeful work of the libraries in the society on the spiritual and moral education of the population of the republic.