History of the Russian Orthodox Church

History Of The Russian Orthodox Church

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History of the Russian Orthodox Church

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Foundation by St. Andrew

The Russian Orthodox Church is traditionally said to have been founded by the Apostle Andrew, who is thought to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea. According to one of the legends, St. Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city. The spot where he reportedly erected a cross is now marked by St. Andrew's Cathedral

Christianization of the Rus'

Constantinople's greatest mission outreach was to areas known as Kievan Rus that later became the states of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Christianity was apparently introduced into Kievan Rus by Greek missionaries from Byzantium in the 9th century. In 863-869, Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius translated parts of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic language for the first time, paving the way for the Christianization of the Slavs. There is evidence that the first Christian bishop was sent to Novgorod from Constantinople either by Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, circa 866-867 AD.

By the mid-10th century, there was already a Christian community among Kievan nobility, under the leadership of Greek and Byzantine priests, although paganism remained the dominant religion. Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus to convert to Christianity, either in 945 or 957. Undoubtedly influenced by his Christian grandmother and by a...
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