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On 27th January 2014, the 22nd International Educational Christmas Readings were opened at the State Kremlin Palace. This year the theme of the Readings is ‘St. Sergius. Rus’. Heritage, Modern Times, Future.’

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the opening ceremony and chaired the fist plenary session.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East is the guest of honour at the Readings dedicated to the 700th birthday of St. Sergius. ‘O Heavenly King’ prayer was sung, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch blessed the opening of the forum attended by bishops and clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of Local Orthodox Churches, state bodies and public organizations, as well as by the staff of the Synodal structures and professors of the church and secular educational institutions and research institutes of Russia and foreign countries.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill delivered a report; Presidential Envoy in the Central Federal District, Alexander Beglov, read out greetings from President Vladimir Putin; His Beatitude Patriarch John X addressed the gathering with greetings.

During the opening session there was held an award ceremony for the winners of the International Children’s Competition “The Beauty of God’s World.’

The plenary session was followed by a concert.