In 2013 the Slavs of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are celebrating an outstanding historical event — the 1025th anniversary of Christening of Rus.
Belarus, Russia and Ukraine have signed an agreement on the issue of souvenir sheets, first day covers and special cancellations dedicated to the 1025th anniversary of Christening of Rus.
The Russian souvenir sheet includes one postage stamp depicting the preparatory composition of the mural painting of the St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev, "The Christening of Rus” by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1885-1896. It is kept in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
The Ukrainian souvenir sheet includes one postage stamp depicting the mural by Viktor Vasnetsov "The Christening of Kievan Rus”, 1885-1896. It is held in the St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev.
The souvenir sheet of Belarus includes three postage stamps depicting the following icon paintings:
"Lamentation of Christ" (the mid-19th century) is preserved in Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion;
"Old Testament Trinity" (the early 18th century) is kept in the Polotsk National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve;
"Christ Pantocrator" (the 18th century) is kept in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk.
The Christening of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages. In early 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople announced to other Orthodox patriarchs that the Rus', baptized by his bishop, took to Christianity with particular enthusiasm. Photius's attempts at Christianizing the country seem to have entailed no lasting consequences, since the Primary Chronicle and other Slavonic sources describe the tenth-century Rus' as firmly entrenched in paganism. The definitive Christianization of Kiev dates from the late 980s, when Vladimir the Great was baptized at Chersonesos, proceeding to baptize his family and people in Kiev. The place of Vladimir's baptism is marked by St. Vladimir's Cathedral.