In his address, Mr Medvedev spoke of the huge significance the adoption of Christianity in Rus had for all of Russia’s history.
The celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus in 1988 was a symbolic event for country, and the two decades that followed have seen Orthodoxy flourish, the President said. Not only have churches been restored but the Russian Orthodox Church has become united once more and sacred places and objects are being returned to it.
Today too the Russian Orthodox Church was handed back sacred objects from the Moscow Kremlin State Museum, among them part of the chasuble of the Holy Mother of God and relics of the holy Prince Vladimir, who baptized Rus, part of the relics of John the Baptist, St Basil and other saints.
Patriarch Alexii II thanked Mr Medvedev for the decision to return the sacred objects.
Around five thousand worshippers attended the celebratory service at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, including delegates to the Russian Orthodox Church Synod, which ended its work the day before in Moscow.