Moscow Patriarchate

Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia

Troitse-Sergieva Lavra in the early 20th century.
FounderApostle Andrew, Vladimir the Great
Independence1448
Recognitionas a separate patriarchate in 1589 by Constantinople
PrimatePatriarch Alexius II
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
TerritoryRussia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, some former Soviet republics
PossessionsUnited States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, China
LanguageChurch Slavonic
Population125,000,000 in Russia
255,000,000+ world wide
WebsiteChurch of Russia Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian: Русская Православная Церковь Московского Патриархата since 1943, Поместная Российская Православная Церковь before the reinstitution in 1943), also known as the Orthodox Christian Church of Russia, is a body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow, who in turn is in communion with the other patriarchs and primates of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In this way, Russian Orthodox believers are in communion with all other Eastern Orthodox believers.

Structure and organization

The Russian Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure. Every church building and its attendees constitute a parish (prikhod). There are over 27,000 parishes in the Church. The Russian Church numbers over 145 million people world wide, thus making it the second largest local church after Rome.

All parishes in a geographical region belong to an eparchy (eparkhiya—equivalent to a Western diocese). Eparchies are governed by bishops (episkope or archierey). There are around 130 Russian Orthodox eparchies worldwide.

Further, some eparchies are organized into exarchates, or autonomous churches. Currently these include the Orthodox Churches of Belarusian exarchate; the Latvian, the Moldovan, and the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. The Chinese and Japanese Orthodox Churches were granted full autonomy by Moscow Patriarchate, but this autonomy is not universally recognized.

Smaller eparchies are usually governed by a single bishop. Larger eparchies, exarchates, and autonomous churches are governed by metropolitans and sometimes also have one or more bishops assigned to them.

The highest level of authority in the Church is represented by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, head of the Moscow Patriarchate.
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Nicholas Roerich. Russian Easter


It should be noted that although the Patriarch of Moscow does have extensive powers, unlike the pope, he is not considered infallible and does not have the direct authority over matters pertaining to faith. This authority is instead given to a council of bishops (pomestny sobor). Some of the most fundamental issues (such as the ones responsible for the Catholic-Orthodox split) cannot be decided even on this level and have to be dealt with by a council of representatives from all Eastern Orthodox churches. The last time such a council was held was in 787.

Doctrine and practices

Like all other Orthodox Churches, Russian Orthodox Church places the emphasis on preservation rather than evolution or adaptation of its doctrine and practices. It does not recognize some developments and dogmatic definitions of the Western Catholic Church since the Great Schism. Its followers take pride in the fact that their beliefs and even ceremonies are largely the same as they were 1000 years ago.

The existence of full communion between most Eastern Orthodox Churches ensures that different churches do not drift apart significantly. As a result, there are few differences between practices of Russian and other Eastern Orthodox churches, and these don't go far beyond using different languages in liturgies, or using Gregorian vs. Julian calendar for Easter calculations.

In the Russian Orthodox Church, Church Slavonic language is used for the majority of religious ceremonies, although modern Russian may be used for non-scripted events such as sermons and confessions.

Icons

Main articles: Icon and Russian icons


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Boris and Gleb, the first East Slavic saints. An early 14th-century icon from Moscow.
Painting portraits of Christ, Christians and events in Christian history dates to the catacomb churches of early Christianity. Orthodox tradition teaches that icons have their origin in the first portraits painted of the Virgin Mary and child. The first icons are attributed to Saint Luke, including the Icon of the Hodegetria, which was destroyed during the Fall of Constantinople.

Russian icons are typically paintings on wood, often small, though some in churches and monasteries may be as large as a table top. Many religious homes in Russia have icons hanging on the wall in the krasny ugol, the "red" or "beautiful" corner. There is a rich history and elaborate religious symbolism associated with icons. In Russian churches, the nave is typically separated from the sanctuary by an iconostasis (Russian ikonostás), a wall of icons. Some of the most famous Russian iconographers and icons include Andrei Rublev and his painting of the Holy Trinity, as well as Dionisius and the icon Theotokos of Vladimir.

Russians sometimes speak of an icon as having been "written," because in the Russian language (unlike English) the word pisat (Russian: писать), meaning "to write", can also be used to mean "to create paintings". Icons are considered to be the Gospel in paint, and therefore careful attention is paid to ensure that the Gospel is faithfully and accurately conveyed.

Icons in Orthodoxy must follow traditional standards and are essentially copies; Orthodoxy never developed the artistic reputation of Catholicism or Protestantism, and the names of even the finest icon painters are seldom recognized except by some Eastern Orthodox or art historians.

Most Russian icons are painted using egg tempera on specially prepared wooden panels, or on cloth glued onto wooden panels. Gold leaf is frequently used for halos and background areas. Russian icons may also incorporate elaborate tin, bronze, or silver exterior facades—called rizas—that are usually highly embellished and often multi-dimensional.

Pursuant to Russian law, it is illegal to export any Russian icon that is over one hundred years in age. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russian icons have been repatriated via direct purchase by Russian museums, private Russian collectors, or as was the case of Pope John Paul II giving an 18th century copy of the famous Our Lady of Kazan icon to the Russian Orthodox Church, returned to Russia in good faith.[1]

Iconostasis

Main article: Iconostasis
The iconostasis as is the tradition today, probably owes a great deal to 14th-century Hesychast mysticism and the wood-carving genius of the Russian Orthodox Church. The first ceiling-high, five-leveled Russian iconostasis is believed to have been designed by Andrey Rublyov in the cathedral of the Dormition in Vladimir in 1408.

Russian Orthodox churches

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Church of the Intercession on the Nerl (1165), showing the onion dome typical of many Orthodox churches.


Russian Orthodox Church buildings differ in design from many western-type churches. Firstly, their interiors are enriched with many sacramental objects including holy icons, which are hung on the walls. In addition, murals often cover most of the interior. Some of these images represent the Theotokos (who is particularly revered in the Russian Orthodox Church), saints, and scenes from their lives.

Gold is the color which resembles the Heavenly Kingdom. It is also used to add a sense of indefinite depth to icons, which would otherwise be perceived as flat. Painted icons are intentionally composed in a two-dimensional, non-perspective fashion to allow equal viewing regardless of the placement, position, and/or angle of the observing person, as well as to emphasize that the depiction is primarily of a spiritual truth rather than of visible reality (which emphasis is also achieved through other iconographic techniques and traditions).

Most Russian Orthodox churches have an iconostasis, which separates the nave from the holy altar, and signifies the Heavenly Kingdom. Covered with icons, the iconostasis is intended to stop physical sight, and allow the worshipers to achieve spiritual sight.

Another remarkable feature of many Russian Orthodox Church is, the icon screen may reach all the way up into the dome (or domes). On the ceiling of many churches (inside the main dome) is the iconography of Christ as Pantokrator ("Ruler of All"). Such images emphasize Christ's humanity and divinity, signifying that Christ is a man and yet is also God without beginning or end.

There are no pews. Most churches are lit with candles rather than electric light. Virtually all churches have multiple votive candle stands in front of the icons. It is customary for worshippers to purchase candles in church stores, light them up, and place them on the stands. This ritual signifies a person's prayer to God, the Holy Mother, or to the saints or angels asking for help on the difficult path to salvation and to freedom from sin.

Sometimes the bottoms of crosses found in Russian Orthodox churches will be adorned with a crescent. The common misconception attributes these to the fact that in 1552, Tsar Ivan the Terrible conquered the city of Kazan which had been under the rule of Muslim Tatars, and in remembrance of this, he decreed that from henceforth the Islamic crescent be placed at the bottom of the crosses to signify the victory of the cross (Christianity) over the crescent (Islam). In fact, crescents on crosses were widespread during the pre-Mongolian period of Russian history and have no relation to the Islamic symbol.

History

Founding and earliest history

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, Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city.[2][3] The spot where he reportedly erected a cross is now marked by St. Andrew's Cathedral.

By the end of the first millennium AD, eastern Slavic lands started to come under the cultural influence of the Eastern Roman Empire. 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. Her grandson, Vladimir the Great, made Kievan Rus' a Christian state.

As a result of the Christianization of Kievan Rus' in 988, Prince Vladimir I of Kiev officially adopted Byzantine Rite Christianity — the religion of the Eastern Roman Empire — as the state religion of Kievan Rus'. This date is often considered the official birthday of the Russian Orthodox Church. Thus, in 1988, the Church celebrated its millennial anniversary. It therefore traces its apostolic succession through the Patriarch of Constantinople.
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By region
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Hesychasm - Icon
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Phronema - Philokalia
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Essence-Energies distinction
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The Kievan church was originally a Metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Byzantine patriarch appointed the metropolitan who governed the Church of Rus'. The Metropolitan's residence was originally located in Kiev. As Kiev was losing its political, cultural, and economical significance due to the Mongol invasion, Metropolitan Maximus moved to Vladimir in 1299; his successors, Metropolitan Peter and Theognostus, moved the residence to Moscow by 1326.

Monastic reform of St. Sergius and its aftermath

Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival and life of the Russian state. Despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were generally tolerant and even granted tax exemption to the Church. Such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Tatar oppression, and to expand both economically and spiritually.

The monastic reform of St. Sergius, which culminated in the foundation of the Trinity Monastery near Moscow, was one of the defining events of medieval Russian history. The monastery became the setting for the unprecedented flourishing of transcendent, spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others. The followers of Sergius founded four hundred monasteries, thus greatly extending the geographical extent of his influence and authority.

The spiritual resurgence of the late 14th century, associated with the names of St. Sergius, the missionary Stephen of Perm and the writer Epiphanius the Wise, contributed to the consolidation of the Russian nation. Lev Gumilev has observed that, having received the blessing of St. Sergius to make a stand against the Tatars, "the Suzdalians, Vladimirians, Rostovians, Pskovians went to the Kulikovo Field as representatives of their principalities but returned after the victory as Russians, although living in different towns",[4] a dictum which has been endorsed by modern church functionaries.[5]

At the Council of Florence (1439), a group of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church leaders agreed upon terms of reunification of the two branches of Christianity. The Russian Prince Basil II of Moscow, however, rejected the concessions to the Catholic Church and forbade the proclamation of the acts of the Council in Russia in 1452, after a short-lived East-West reunion. Metropolitan Isidore was in the same year expelled from his position as an apostate.

In 1448, the Russian Church became independent from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Metropolitan Jonas, installed by the Council of Russian bishops in 1448, was given the title of Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia. This was just five years before the fall of Constantinople in 1453. From this point onward the Russian Orthodox Church saw Moscow as the Third Rome, legitimate successor to Constantinople, and the Patriarch of Moscow as head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Consolidation and codification

The reign of Ivan III and his successor was plagued by numerous heresies and controversies. One party, led by Nil Sorsky and Vassian Kosoy, called for secularisation of monastic properties. They were oppugned by the influential Joseph of Volotsk, who defended ecclesiastical ownership of land and property. The sovereign's position fluctuated, but eventually he threw his support to Joseph. New sects sprang up, some of which showed a tendency to revert to Mosaic law: for instance, the archpriest Aleksei converted to Judaism after meeting a certain Zechariah the Jew.

Monastic life flourished in Russia, focusing on prayer and spiritual growth. The disciples of St. Sergius left the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra to found hundreds of monasteries across Russia. Some of the most famous monasteries were located in the Russian North, even as far north as Pechenga, in order to demonstrate how faith could flourish in the most inhospitable lands. The richest landowners of medieval Russia included Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery, Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and the Solovetsky Monastery. In the 18th century, the three greatest monasteries were recognized as lavras, while those subordinated directly to the Synod were labelled stauropegic.

In the 1540s, Metropolitan Macarius codified Russian hagiography and convened a number of church synods, which culminated in the Hundred Chapter Synod of 1551. This assembly unified Church ceremonies and duties in the whole territory of Russia. At the demand of the Church hierarchy the government canceled the tsar's jurisdiction over ecclesiastics. Reinforced by these reforms, the Church felt strong enough to challenge the policies of the tsar. Philip of Moscow, in particular, decried many abuses of Ivan the Terrible, who eventually engineered his defrocking and murder.

Autocephaly and Schism

During the reign of the pious tsar Theodor I his brother-in-law Boris Godunov contacted the Ecumenical Patriarch, who "was much embarrassed for want of funds,"[6] with a view to establishing a patriarch see in Moscow. As a result of Godunov's efforts, Metropolitan Job of Moscow became in 1589 the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus', making the Russian Church autocephalous. The four other patriarchs have recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as one of the five honourable Patriarchates. During the next half a century, when the tsardom was weak, the patriarchs (notably Germogen and Philaret) would help run the state along with (and sometimes instead of) the tsars.

At the urging of the Zealots of Piety, Patriarch Nikon resolved in 1652 to centralize power that had been distributed locally, while conforming Russian Orthodox rites and rituals to those of the Greek Orthodox Church, as interpreted by pundits from the Kiev Ecclesiastical Academy. For instance he insisted that Russian Christians cross themselves with three fingers, rather than the then-traditional two. This aroused antipathy among a substantial section of the believers who saw the changed rites as heresy, although the extent to which these changes can be regarded as minor or major ritual significance remains open to debate. After the implementation of these innovations at the church counsil of 1666-1667, the Church anathematized and suppressed those who acted contrary to them with the support of Muscovite state power. These traditionalists became known as "Old Believers" or "Old Ritualists".
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An Old Believer Priest, Nikita Pustosviat, Disputing with Patriarch Joachim the Matters of Faith. Painting by Vasily Perov


Although Nikon's far-flung ambitions of steering the country to a theocratic form of government precipitated his defrocking and exile, Tsar Aleksey deemed it prudent to uphold many of his innovations. During the Schism of the Russian Church, the Old Ritualists were separated from the main body of the Orthodox Church. Archpriest Avvakum Petrov and many other opponents of the church reforms were burned at the stake, either forcibly or voluntarily. Another prominent figure within the Old Ritualists' movement, Boyarynya Morozova, was starved to death in 1675. Others escaped from the government persecutions to Siberia and other inhospitable lands, where they would live in semi-seclusion until the modern times.

Peter the Great

With the ascension of Emperor Peter the Great to the throne of Russia (1682-1725), with his radical modernization of Russian government, army, dress and manners, Russia became a formidable political power. The "Autocrat of All Russias" decided to rule also over the Church. He abolished the office of patriarch (the formal name of the Russian archbishop) and limited the power of bishops as well as dioceses. He curtailed also the independence of ordinary parishes who had earlier had the right to choose their priests and manage their finances in the spirit of sobornost. Now, instead, all power in spiritual matters was centralized in the Holy Synod, a creation of the emperor in co-operation with the bishop of Novgorod, Feofan. Bishop Feofan had studied western Protestantism, and was influenced by it.(He was not alone, Protestantism had a strong impact on the Russian Orthodox Church in the 18th century.) The Holy Synod became the highest governing instance of the Orthodox Church. The emperor's representative in the meetings of the Holy Synod was the chief-procurator, a layman chosen by the emperor, who had direct access to the him. All decisions of the Holy Synod had to be ratified by the emperor.[7] This pertained also to the Orthodox Church of Finland until its independence in 1923.[8]

Expansion

In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Russian Orthodox Church experienced phenomenal geographic expansion. In the following two centuries, missionary efforts stretched out across Siberia into Alaska, then into the United States at California. Eminent people on that missionary effort included St. Innocent of Irkutsk and St. Herman of Alaska. In emulation of Stephen of Perm, they learned local languages and translated the gospels and the hymns. Sometimes those translations required the invention of new systems of transcription.

In the aftermath of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, the Ottomans (supposedly acting on behalf of the Russian regent Sophia Alekseyevna) pressured the Patriarch of Constantinople into transferring the Metropoly of Kiev from the jurisdiction of Constantinople to that of Moscow. The controversial transfer brought millions of faithful and half a dozen dioceses under the pastoral and administrative care of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', leading to the significant Ukrainian domination of the Russian Orthodox Church, which continued well into the 18th century, with Feofan Prokopovich, Epifany Slavinetsky, Stephen Yavorsky and Demetrius of Rostov being among the most notable representatives of this trend.[9]

In 1700, after Patriarch Adrian's death, Peter the Great prevented a successor from being named, and in 1721, following the advice of Feofan Prokopovich, Archbishop of Pskov, the Holy and Supreme Synod was established under Archbishop Stephen Yavorsky to govern the church instead of a single primate. This was the situation until shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917, at which time the Local Council (more than half of its members being lay persons) adopted the decision to restore the Patriarchy. On November 5 (according to the Julian calendar) a new patriarch, Tikhon, was named through casting lots.

The late 18th century saw the rise of starchestvo under Paisiy Velichkovsky and his disciples at the Optina Monastery. This marked a beginning of a significant spiritual revival in the Russian Church after a lengthy period of westernization, personified by such figures as Demetrius of Rostov and Platon of Moscow. Aleksey Khomyakov, Ivan Kireevsky, and other lay theologians with Slavophile leanings elaborated some key concepts of the renovated Orthodox doctrine, including that of sobornost. The resurgence of Eastern Orthodoxy was reflected in Russian literature, e.g., the figure of Starets Zosima in Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov.

The fin-de-siècle religious renaissance

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Russian Orthodox Church in Dresden, built in the 1870s
During the final decades of the imperial order in Russia many educated Russians sought to return to the Church and revitalize their faith. No less evident were non-conformist paths of spiritual searching known as God-Seeking. Writers, artists, and intellectuals in large numbers were drawn to private prayer, mysticism, spiritualism, theosophy, and Eastern religions. A fascination with elemental feeling, with the unconscious and the mythic, proliferated along with visions of coming catastrophe and redemption.

The visible forms of God-Seeking were extensive. A series of 'Religious-Philosophical Meetings' were held in St. Petersburg in 1901-1903, bringing together prominent intellectuals and clergy to explore together ways to reconcile the Church with the growing of undogmatic desire among the educated for spiritual meaning in life. Especially after 1905, various religious societies arose, though much of this religious upheaval was informal: circles and salons, séances, private prayer. Some clergy also sought to revitalize Orthodox faith, most famously the charismatic Father John of Kronstadt, who, until his death in 1908 (though his followers remained active long after), emphasized Christian living and sought to restore fervency and the presence of the miraculous in liturgical celebration. In 1909, a sensation-creating volume of essays appeared under the title Vekhi ("Landmarks" or "Signposts"), authored by a group of leading left-wing intellectuals, including Sergei Bulgakov, Peter Struve, and former Marxists, who bluntly repudiated the materialism and atheism that had dominated the thought of the intelligentsia for generations as leading inevitably to failure and moral disaster.

One sees a similarly renewed vigor and variety in religious life and spirituality among the lower classes, especially after the upheavals of 1905. Among the peasantry we see widespread interest in spiritual-ethical literature and non-conformist moral-spiritual movements; an upsurge in pilgrimage and other devotions to sacred spaces and objects (especially icons); persistent beliefs in the presence and power of the supernatural (apparitions, possession, walking-dead, demons, spirits, miracles, and magic); the renewed vitality of local "ecclesial communities" actively shaping their own ritual and spiritual lives, sometimes in the absence of clergy, and defining their own sacred places and forms of piety; and the proliferation of what the Orthodox establishment branded as 'sectarianism', including both non-Orthodox Christian denominations, notably Baptists, and various forms of deviant popular Orthodoxy and mysticism.[10]

Russian revolution

In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.
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Tsar Alexis praying before the relics of Metropolitan Philip


The year 1917 was a major turning point for the history of Russia, and also the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian empire was dissolved and the Tsarist government - which had granted the Church numerous privileges - was overthrown. After a few months of political turmoil, the Bolsheviks took power in October 1917 and declared a separation of church and state. Thus the Russian Orthodox Church found itself without official state backing for the first time in its history. One of the first decrees of the new Communist government (issued in January 1918) declared freedom of "religious and anti-religious propaganda". This led to a marked decline in the power and influence of the Church. The Church was also caught in the crossfire of the Russian Civil War that began later the same year, and many leaders of the Church supported what would ultimately turn out to be the losing side (the White movement).

The Russian Orthodox Church collaborated with the White Army in the Russian Civil War (see White movement) after the October Revolution. This may have further strengthened the Bolshevik animus against the church.

Even before the end of the civil war and the establishment of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church came under pressure from the secular Communist government. The Soviet government stood on a platform of atheism, viewing the church as a "counter-revolutionary" organization and an independent voice with a great influence in society. While the Soviet Union officially claimed religious tolerance, in practice the government discouraged organized religion and did remove much religious influence from Soviet society.

Under Communist rule

Before and after the October Revolution of November 7, 1917 (October 25 Old Calendar) there was a movement within the Soviet Union to unite all of the people of the world under Communist rule (see Communist International). This included the Eastern European bloc countries as well as the Balkan States. Since some of these Slavic states tied their ethnic heritage to their ethnic churches, both the peoples and their church were targeted by the Soviets. [11]

The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed. Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals.[12][13] Many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were also subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions.[14][15]

Thousands of churches and monasteries were taken over by the government and either destroyed or converted to secular use. It was impossible to build new churches. Practising Orthodox Christians were restricted from prominent careers and membership in communist organizations (the party, the Komsomol). Anti-religious propaganda was openly sponsored and encouraged by the government, which the Church was not given an opportunity to publicly respond to. The government youth organization, the Komsomol, encouraged its members to vandalize Orthodox Churches and harass worshippers. Seminaries were closed down, and the church was restricted from using the press.

The history of Orthodoxy (and other religions) under Communism was not limited to this story of repression and secularization. Bolshevik policies toward religious belief and practice tended to vacillate over time between, on the one hand, a utopian determination to substitute secular rationalism for what they considered to be an unmodern, "superstitious" worldview and, on the other, pragmatic acceptance of the tenaciousness of religious faith and institutions. In any case, religious beliefs and practices did persist, in the domestic and private spheres but also in the scattered public spaces allowed by a state that recognized its failure to eradicate religion and the political dangers of an unrelenting culture war.[16]

In November 1917, following the collapse of the tsarist government, a council of the Russian Orthodox church reestablished the patriarchate and elected the metropolitan Tikhon as patriarch. But the new Soviet government soon declared the separation of church and state and nationalized all church-held lands. These administrative measures were followed by brutal state-sanctioned persecutions that included the wholesale destruction of churches and the arrest and execution of many clerics. The Russian Orthodox church was further weakened in 1922, when the Renovated Church, a reform movement supported by the Soviet government, seceded from Patriarch Tikhon's church (also see the Josephites and the Russian True Orthodox Church), restored a Holy Synod to power, and brought division among clergy and faithful.

The result of this militant atheism was to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church. In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed.[17]

Stalinist era

The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited.

The sixth sector of the OGPU, led by Eugene Tuchkov, began aggressively arresting and executing bishops, priests, and devout worshippers, such as Metropolitan Veniamin in Petrograd in 1922 for refusing to accede to the demand to hand in church valuables (including sacred relics). In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to less than 500. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. Of these, 95,000 were put to death, executed by firing squad. Many thousands of victims of persecution became recognized in a special canon of saints known as the "new martyrs and confessors of Russia".

Patriarch Tikhon anathematized the communist government, which further antagonized relations. When Tikhon died in 1925, the Soviet authorities forbade patriarchal elections to be held. Patriarchal locum tenens (acting Patriarch) Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky, 1887-1944), going against the opinion of a major part of the church's parishes, in 1927 issued a declaration accepting the Soviet authority over the church as legitimate, pledging the church's cooperation with the government and condemning political dissent within the church. By this he granted himself with the power that he, being a deputy of imprisoned Metropolitan Peter and acting against his will, had no right to assume according to the XXXIV Apostolic canon, which led to a split with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia abroad and the Russian True Orthodox Church (Russian Catacomb Church) within the Soviet Union, as they remained faithful to the Canons of the Apostles, declaring the part of the church led by Metropolitan Sergius schism, sometimes coined as sergianism. Due to this canonical disagreement it is disputed which church has been the legitimate successor to the Russian Orthodox Church that had existed before 1925.[18][19][20][21] In 1927, in order to secure the survival of the church, Metropolitan Sergius formally expressed his "loyalty" to the Soviet government and henceforth refrained from criticizing the state in any way. This attitude of loyalty, however, provoked more divisions in the church itself: inside Russia, a number of faithful opposed Sergius, and abroad, the Russian metropolitans of America and Western Europe severed their relations with Moscow.

After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort[22]. On September 41943, Metropolitans Sergius (Stragorodsky), Alexius (Simansky) and Nikolay (Yarushevich) received a permission to convene a council on September 81943, that elected Sergius Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. This is considered by some violation of the XXX Apostolic canon, as no church hierarch could be consecrated by secular authorities.[18] A new patriarch was elected, theological schools were opened, and thousands of churches began to function. The Moscow Theological Academy Seminary, which had been closed since 1918, was re-opened.

Between 1945 and 1959 the official organization of the church was greatly expanded, although individual members of the clergy were occasionally arrested and exiled. The number of open churches reached 25,000. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.

Persecution under Khrushchev and Brezhnev

A new and widespread persecution of the church was subsequently instituted under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. A second round of repression, harassment and church closures took place between 1959 and 1964 during the rule of Nikita Khrushchev.

The Church and the government remained on unfriendly terms until 1988. In practice, the most important aspect of this conflict was that openly religious people could not join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which meant that they could not hold any political office. However, among the general population, large numbers remained religious.

Some Orthodox believers and even priests took part in the dissident movement and became prisoners of conscience. The Orthodox priests Gleb Yakunin, Sergiy Zheludkov and others spent years in Soviet prisons and exile for their efforts in defending freedom of worship.[23] Among the prominent figures of that time was Father Aleksandr Men. Althoug he tried to keep away from practical work of the dissident movement intending to better fulfil his calling as a priest, there was a spiritual link between Fr Aleksander and many of the dissidents. For some of them he was a friend, for others - a godfather, for many (including Yakunin) - spiritual father[24].

By 1987 the number of functioning churches in the Soviet Union had fallen to 6893 and the number of functioning monasteries to just 18. In 1987 in the Russian SFSR, between 40% and 50% of newborn babies (depending on the region) were baptized and over 60% of all deceased received Christian funeral services.

Glasnost

Beginning in the late 1980s, under Mikhail Gorbachev, the new political and social freedoms resulted in many church buildings being returned to the church, to be restored by local parishioners. A pivotal point in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church came in 1988 - the millennial anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus'. Throughout the summer of that year, major government-supported celebrations took place in Moscow and other cities; many older churches and some monasteries were reopened. An implicit ban on religious propaganda on state TV was finally lifted. For the first time in the history of Soviet Union, people could see live transmissions of church services on television.

Post-Soviet recovery

The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world and has seen a resurgence in activity and vitality since the end of Soviet rule. Up to 90% of ethnic Russians and a significant part of Belarusians as well as a minor part of Ukrainians identify themselves as Russian Orthodox (although to a large degree this is a cultural identification, rather than a religious one). In keeping with other Orthodox churches, which do not place a high importance on weekly church attendance, the number of people regularly attending services is relatively low, however it has grown significantly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In December 2006 the Church had over 27,000 parishes, 169 bishops, 713 monasteries, two universities, five theological academies and 75 theological schools in the territory of the former Soviet Union and has a well-established presence in many other countries all over the world. In recent years many church buildings have been officially returned to the Church, most of these being in a deteriorated condition.

There have been difficulties in the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican, especially since 2002, when Pope John Paul II created a Catholic diocesan structure for Russian territory. The leadership of the Russian Church saw this action as a throwback to prior attempts by the Vatican to proselytize the Russian Orthodox faithful to become Roman Catholic. This point of view is based upon the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church (and the Eastern Orthodox Church) that the Church of Rome is but one of many equal Christian organizations, and that as such it is straying into territory that was already Christianized by the Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, while acknowledging the primacy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, believes that the small Catholic minority in Russia, in continuous existence since at least the 18th century, should be served by a fully developed church hierarchy with a presence and status in Russia, just as the Russian Orthodox Church is present in other countries (including constructing a cathedral in Rome, near the Vatican).
Enlarge picture
Russian Orthodox Episcopal Consecration by Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow and All Russia


The issue of encroachment by other Christian denominations into Russia is a particularly sensitive one to many members of the Russian Orthodox Church. They argue that the Orthodox Church now finds itself in a weakened position as a result of decades of secular Communist rule, and is therefore unable to compete on an equal footing with Western Churches. Thus, proselytizing by mostly foreign-based Catholics, Protestant denominations, and by many non-traditional sects can be seen as taking unfair advantage of the still-recovering condition of the Russian Church. On the other hand, many of these groups have argued that the position of Russian Orthodoxy is today no weaker than that of most Western European Churches. Smaller religious movements, particularly Baptists and members of other Protestant denominations, that have become active in Russia in the past decade claim that the state provides unfair support to the Orthodox Church and suppresses others, referring to the 1997 Russian law, under which those religious organizations that could not provide official proof of their existence for the preceding 15 years were seriously restricted in their rights and ability to worship. The law was formally presented as a way to combat destructive cults, but was condemned by representatives of other religions and human rights organizations as being written in a manner that explicitly favored the Russian Orthodox Church, as the Soviet Union had prohibited the establishment of other religions. Consequently, this law gave full rights only to a small number of "first-rank" religions, such as Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. The situation is expected to normalise as the 15-year window starts to slide over the post-Communist period.

Due to its deep cultural roots, many members of the Russian government are keen to display their respect for the Church. It is common for the President of Russia to publicly meet with the Patriarch on Church holidays such as Easter (Paskha or Пасха in Russian). Meetings with representatives of Islam and Buddhism occur less frequently.

The Russian Orthodox Church should not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), based in New York. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was formed by Russian communities outside then-Communist Russia who refused to recognize the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church, as they believed it had fallen under the influence of the Bolsheviks. The two churches have reconcilied as of May 17, 2007. However this has not been without controversy, and many former ROCOR parishes have refused to accept the reunion with the Moscow Patraichate, and others have taken steps to protect their property from usurpation by the Patriarchate.

There is increasing concern in the Orthodox world that the Russian Orthodox Church is separating itself from the other Orthodox Churches. This was emphasised by the events at the meeting in Ravenna in early October 2007, when refusing the compromise unanimously agreed by the other Churches, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church walked out of an important meeting with Roman Catholic theologians. The alleged reason for the withrawal of the Russian delegation (headed by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev) was the presence of representatives from the Autonomous Church of Estonia which is in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patraichate. Moscow claims Estonia to be its own canonical territory, but since Estonia (which the Soviet Union had invaded in the 1940s) had become once again an independent state and has joined the European Union, it is diffcult to understand the basis of Moscow's claim to "canonical territory", unless,of course, it masks a political claim to control an independent sovereign state.

Deep concern has also been expressed at the fact that at the same time the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has proclaimed St Seraphim of Sarov to be the Patron Saint of Russian Nuclear Forces. In the opinion of many devout Orthodox, it verges on blasphemy to dishnour the memory of the greatest Saint of the Russian Church in this way, as his whole life and teaching was concerned with gentleness and purity of heart in accordance with the Gospel, not military violence or weapons of mass destruction. It shows yet again that the Russian Orthodox Church is turning into a tool of the Russian State.

Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)

Russian traders settled in Alaska during the 1700s. In 1740, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated on board a Russian ship off the Alaskan coast. In 1794, the Russian Orthodox Church sent missionaries -- among them Saint Herman of Alaska -- to establish a formal mission in Alaska. Their missionary endeavors contributed to the conversion of many Alaskan natives to the Orthodox faith. A diocese was established, whose first bishop was Saint Innocent of Alaska. The headquarters of this North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church was moved from Alaska to California around the mid-19th century.

It was moved again in the last part of the same century, this time to New York. This transfer coincided with a great movement of Greek-Catholics to the Orthodox Church in the eastern United States. This movement, which increased the numbers of Orthodox Christians in America, resulted from a conflict between John Ireland, the politically powerful Roman Catholic Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Alexis Toth, an influential Ruthenian Catholic priest. Archbishop Ireland's refusal to accept Fr. Toth's credentials as a priest induced Fr. Toth to convert to the Orthodox Church, and further resulted in the conversion of tens of thousands of other Greek-Catholics in North America to the Orthodox Church, under his guidance and inspiration. For this reason, Ireland is sometimes ironically remembered as the "Father of the Orthodox Church in America." These Greek-Catholics were received into Orthodoxy into the existing North American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. At the same time large numbers of Greeks and other Orthodox Christians were also immigrating to America. At this time all Orthodox Christians in North America were united under the omophorion (Church authority and protection) of the Patriarch of Moscow, through the Russian Church's North American diocese. The unity was not merely theoretical, but was a reality, since there was then no other diocese on the continent. Under the aegis of this diocese, which at the turn of the century was ruled by Bishop (and future Patriarch) Tikhon, Orthodox Christians of various ethnic backgrounds were ministered to, both non-Russian and Russian; a Syro-Arab mission was established in the episcopal leadership of Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, who was the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in America.

On December 28, 2006, it was officially announced that the Act of Canonical Communion would finally be signed between the ROC and ROCOR. The signing took place on the May 17, 2007, followed immediately by a full restoration of communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, celebrated by a Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, at which the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexius II and the First Hierarch of ROCOR concelebrated for the first time in history.

The Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

The Russian Orthodox Church was devastated by the Bolshevik Revolution. One of its effects was a flood of refugees from Russia to the United States, Canada, and Europe. The Revolution of 1917 severed large sections of the Russian church--dioceses in America, Japan, and Manchuria, as well as refugees in Europe--from regular contacts with the mother church.

In 1920 Patriarch Tikhon issued an ukase (decree) that dioceses of the Church of Russia that were cut off from the governance of the highest Church authority (i.e. the Patriarch) should continue independently until such time as normal relations with the highest Church authority could be resumed; and on this basis, the North American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (known as the "Metropolia") continued to exist in a de facto autonomous mode of self-governance. The financial hardship that beset the North American diocese as the result of the Russian Revolution resulted in a degree of administrative chaos, with the result that other national Orthodox communities in North America turned to the Churches in their respective homelands for pastoral care and governance.

A group of bishops who had left their sees in Russia gathered in Sremski-Karlovci, Yugoslavia, and adopted a clearly political monarchist stand. The group further claimed to speak as a synod for the entire "free" Russian church. This group, which to this day includes a sizable portion of the Russian emigration, was formally dissolved in 1922 by Patriarch Tikhon, who then appointed metropolitans Platon and Evlogy as ruling bishops in America and Europe, respectively. Both of these metropolitans continued to entertain relations intermittently with the synod in Karlovci, but neither of them accepted it as a canonical authority. Between the World Wars the Metropolia coexisted and at times cooperated with an independent synod later known as Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), sometimes also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The two groups eventually went their separate ways. ROCOR, which moved its headquarters to North America after the Second World War, claimed but failed to establish jurisdiction over all parishes of Russian origin in North America. The Metropolia, as a former diocese of the Russian Church, looked to the latter as its highest church authority, albeit one from which it was temporarily cut off under the conditions of the communist regime in Russia.

After World War II the patriarchate of Moscow made unsuccessful attempts to regain control over these groups. After resuming communication with Moscow in early 1960s, and being granted autocephaly in 1970, the Metropolia became known as the Orthodox Church in America.[25] [26] However, recognition of this autocephalous status is not universal, as the Ecumenical Patriarch (under whom is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) and some other jurisdictions have not officially accepted it. The reasons for this are complex; nevertheless the Ecumenical Patriarch and the other jurisdictions remain in communion with the OCA. The patriarchate of Moscow thereby renounced its former canonical claims in the United States and Canada; it also acknowledged an autonomous church established in Japan that same year.

See also

References

1. ^ The handover of the icon of Kazan is an historic event. AsiaNews.it (2004-08-26). Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
2. ^ Damick, Andrew S.. Life of the Apostle Andrew. chrysostom.org. Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
3. ^ Voronov, Theodore (2001-10-13). The Baptism of Russia and Its Significance for Today. orthodox.clara.net. Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
4. ^ Российские Вести - Федеральный Еженедельник. rosvesty.ru. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
5. ^ АРХИЕПИСКОП ИСТРИНСКИЙ АРСЕНИЙ ВОЗГЛАВИЛ В МОСКВЕ ТОРЖЕСТВА ПО СЛУЧАЮ 625-ЛЕТИЯ КУЛИКОВСКОЙ БИТВЫ. pravoslavie.ru. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
6. ^ Karl August von Hase. A history of the Christian Church. Oxford, 1855. Page 481.
7. ^ Hämynen, Tapio: "Suomalaistajat, venäläistäjät ja rajakarjalaiset" (1995) p.13
8. ^ "Orthodoxy in Finland" edited by Veikko Purmonen (1984) p. 20
9. ^ Yuri Kagramanov, "The war of languages in Ukraine", Novy Mir, 2006, № 8
10. ^ A. S. Pankratov, Ishchushchie boga (Moscow, 1911); Vera Shevzov, Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Gregory Freeze, 'Subversive Piety: Religion and the Political Crisis in Late Imperial Russia', Journal of Modern History, vol. 68 (June 1996): 308-50; Mark Steinberg and Heather Coleman, eds. Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007)
11. ^ President of Lithuania: Prisoner of the Gulag a Biography of Aleksandras Stulginskis by Afonsas Eidintas Genocide and Research Center of Lithuania ISBN 998675741X / 9789986757412 / 9986-757-41-X pg 23 "The Soviets' official religious stance was one of "religious freedom or tolerance", though the state established atheism as the only scientific truth. Criticism of atheism was strictly forbidden and sometimes lead to imprisonment. Sermons to young people by Father George Calciu-Dumitreasa. Given at the Chapel of the Romanian Orthodox Church Seminary, The Word online. Bucharest [1]
12. ^ Father Arseny 1893-1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi - 1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9
13. ^ The Washingotn Post Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page C09 [2]
14. ^ [3] Dumitru Bacu, The Anti-Humans. Student Re-Education in Romanian Prisons], Soldiers of the Cross, Englewood, Colorado, 1971. Originally written in Romanian as Piteşti, Centru de Reeducare Studenţească, Madrid, 1963
15. ^ Adrian Cioroianu, Pe umerii lui Marx. O introducere în istoria comunismului românesc ("On the Shoulders of Marx. An Incursion into the History of Romanian Communism"), Editura Curtea Veche, Bucharest, 2005
16. ^ John Shelton Curtis, The Russian Church and the Soviet State (Boston: Little Brown, 1953); Jane Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986); Dimitry V. Pospielovsky, The Russian Church Under the Soviet Regime 1917-1982 (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984); idem., A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies (New York; St. Martin’s Press, 1987); Glennys Young, Power and the Sacred in Revolutionary Russia: Religious Activists in the Village (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997); Daniel Peris, Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998); William B. Husband, “Godless Communists”: Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2000; Edward Roslof, Red Priests: Renovationism, Russian Orthodoxy, and Revolution, 1905-1946 (Bloomington, Indiana, 2002)
17. ^ Ostling, Richard. "Cross meets Kremlin" TIME Magazine. June 24, 2001. [4]
18. ^ (Russian) Alekseev, Valery. Historical and canonical reference for reasons making believers leave the Moscow patriarchate. Created for the government of Moldova
19. ^ Talantov, Boris. 1968. The Moscow Patriarchate and Sergianism (English translation).
20. ^ Protopriest Yaroslav Belikow. December 11, 2004. The Visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus to the Parishes of Argentina and Venezuela."
21. ^ Tserkovnye Vedomosti Russkoy Istinno-Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi (Russian True Orthodox Church News). Patriarch Tikhon's Catacomb Church. History of the Russian True Orthodox Church.
22. ^ Seventeen Moments in Soviet History
23. ^ Dissent in the Russian Orthodox Church
24. ^ Keston Institute and the Defence of Persecuted Christians in the USSR
25. ^ Very Rev. John Matusiak, Director of Communications, Orthodox Church in America. A History and Introduction of the Orthodox Church in America
26. ^ OrthodoxWiki. .

External links

Russian Orthodox resources and literature

Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy
Autocephalous Churches
Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople | Alexandria | Antioch | Jerusalem
Russia | Serbia | Romania | Bulgaria | Georgia
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Sinai* | Finland | Estonia* | Japan* | China* | Ukraine | Western Europe* | Bessarabia* | Moldova* | Ohrid* | ROCOR**
The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.
''The ** designates a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church.


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Saint Andrew (Greek: Ανδρέας, Andreas), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the elder brother of Saint Peter.
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Vladimir Svyatoslavich the Great (c. 958 – 15 July 1015, Berestovo) was the grand prince of Kiev who converted to Christianity in 988, and proceeded to baptise the whole Kievan Rus.
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Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Greek: Oikoumenikó Patriarkheío Kōnstantinoupóleōs or Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο
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Patriarch Alexius II (February 23, 1929) is the 16th and current Patriarch of Moscow and the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Biography

He was born as Aleksei Ridiger (Russian: Aleksei Mikhailovich Ridiger,
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Church Slavonic or Church Slavic (Bulgarian: църковнославянски език, tsarkovnoslavyanski ezik
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The following is a list of The Russian Orthodox Metropolitans of Moscow and Patriarchs of Moscow and all Russia along with when they served:

Metropolitans

  • Maximus (1283-1305)
  • St.

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Full communion is a term used in Christian ecclesiology to describe relations between two distinct Christian communities or Churches that, while maintaining some separateness of identity, recognise each other as sharing the same communion and the same essential doctrines.
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Christianity

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Primate (from the Latin Primus, "first") is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches.
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A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. It is used by some Christian churches, usually liturgical churches, and also by the civil government in a number of countries (see civil parish).

Etymology

The term "Parish" derives from Anglo-Fr.
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Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word, authentically latinized as eparchia and loosely translating as 'rule over something', but has the following specific meanings, both in political history and in the hierarchy of eastern churches.
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diocese is an administrative territorial unit administrated by a bishop, hence also referred to as a bishopric or Episcopal Area (as in United Methodism) or episcopal see, though more often the term episcopal see means the office held by the bishop.
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exarch, from Greek ἔξαρχος (exarchos), was governor with extended authority of a province at some remove from the capital Constantinople.
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Anthem
Мы, беларусы   (Belarusian)
My, Belarusy   (transliteration)
We Belarusians
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The Latvian Orthodox Church (Latvian: Latvijas Pareizticīgā Baznīca, Russian: Латвийская
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The Moldovan Orthodox Church (officially, the Metropolis of Chişinău and Moldova), whose ecumenic territory covers the Republic of Moldova, is an autonomous church under the Church of Russia.
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Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate

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Primate Cornelius (Yacobs) of Tallinn and All Estonia
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The Chinese Orthodox Church was an autonomous Eastern Orthodox church in China, which, prior to the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966, was estimated to have as many as twenty thousand members.
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The Japanese Orthodox Church (日本ハリストス正教会) is an autonomous church of Eastern Orthodoxy under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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In hierarchical Christian churches, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop (then more precisely called metropolitan archbishop
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The following is a list of The Russian Orthodox Metropolitans of Moscow and Patriarchs of Moscow and all Russia along with when they served:

Metropolitans

  • Maximus (1283-1305)
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The Pope (from Latin: papa, father;[1] from Greek πάπας (papas) = father - originally written πάππας (
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