Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome, it was an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture"; the Hagia Sophia construction consists of masonry. The structure is composed of mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced evenly throughout the mortar joints; this combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time. From the date of its construction's completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, it remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt, it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia, sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act, considered the start of the East–West Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose; the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, angels were destroyed or plastered over.
Islamic features – such as the mihrab and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, it was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul; the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex. On 24 March 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Hagia Sophia is to be reverted to a mosque; the first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.
Inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, working on it in 346. A tradition, not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter; the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium, it was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.
The Patriarch of Constantinople John
Polish Orthodox Church
The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church known as the Polish Orthodox Church, or Church of Poland is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches in full communion. The church was established in 1924, to accommodate Orthodox Christians of Polish descent in the eastern part of the country, when Poland regained its independence after the First World War. In total, it has 500,000 adherents. In Polish census of 2011, 156,000 citizens declared themselves as a members; the establishment of the church was undertaken after the Treaty of Riga left a large amount of territory under the control of the Russian Empire, as part of the Second Polish Republic. Eastern Orthodoxy was widespread in the Belarusian Western Belarus regions and the Ukrainian Volhynia; the loss of ecclesiastical link due to the persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union, left the regional clergy in a crisis moment, in 1924, the Ecumenical Patriarchate took over establishing several autonomous churches on territories of the new states that were wholly or part of the Russian Empire.
Earlier, in January 1922, the Polish government had issued an order recognizing the Orthodox church and placing it under the authority of the state. At that time a Ukrainian, Yurii Yaroshevsky, was appointed Metropolitan and exarch by the patriarch of Moscow; when Yaroshevsky began to reject the authority of Moscow Patriarchate, he was assassinated by a Russian monk. Nonetheless, his successor, Dionizy Waledyński, continued to work for the autocephaly of the Polish Orthodox church, granted by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in his Tomos of 13 November 1924. Given that most of the parishioners were Ukrainians and Belarusians living in the Eastern areas of the newly independent Polish Second Republic, the Patriarch of Constantinople had a canonical basis to grant the Tomos to the Polish church as a successor of the Kyiv Metropolia, the former territory of Kyivan Rus' which Constantinople continued to see as its canonical territory; the Russian Orthodox Church at the time did not recognise the Polish autocephaly, as it did not recognise the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
During the interwar period, the Polish authorities imposed severe restrictions on the church and its clergy. The most famous example, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw was destroyed. In Volyhnia a total of 190 Eastern Orthodox churches were destroyed and a further 150 converted to Roman Catholicism. Several court hearings against the Pochayiv Lavra took place. After the Second World War most of the ethnically Ukrainian and Belarusian territories were annexed by the Soviet Union, holding up to 80% of the PAOC's parishes and congregation, which were united with the re-instated Moscow Patriarchate; the remaining parishes that were now on the territory of the Polish People's Republic were kept by the PAOC, including most of the mixed easternmost territories such as around Chełm and Białystok. In 1948, after the Soviet Union established political control over Poland, the Russian Orthodox Church recognised the autocephalous status of the Polish Orthodox Church. Although most of the congregation is centered in the Eastern borderland regions with considerable Belarusian and Ukrainian minorities, there are now many parishes across the country, as a result of Operation Vistula and other diaspora movements.
There are some adherents in Brazil, resulted from the 1989 canonical union between the hierarchy headed by Metropolitan Gabriel of Lisbon under the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, the Polish Orthodox Church. The European bishops, have left the jurisdiction in 2000, which resulted in senior Bishop Chrysostom being raised to archepiscopal dignity. There are now parishes in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Paraíba, plus a monastery in João Pessoa. In 2003, following the decision of the Holy Sobor of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, the New Martyrs of Chelm and Podlasie suffering persecution during the 1940s were canonized; the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church was established in 1924. Traditionally the primate of the church has the title Metropolitan of All Poland. Metropolitan Jerzy - Archbishop of Warsaw Metropolitan Dionizy - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Metropolitan Makary - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Metropolitan Tymoteusz - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Metropolitan Stefan - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Metropolitan Bazyli - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Metropolitan Sawa - Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland The church is headed by the Archbishop of Warsaw and Metropolitan of All Poland: Sawa Hrycuniak.
It is divided into the following dioceses: Archdiocese of Warsaw and Bielsk: Sawa Archdiocese of Białystok and Gdańsk: James Archdiocese of Łódź and Poznań: Simon Archdiocese of Wrocław and Szczecin: George Archdiocese of Lublin and Chełm: Abel Archdiocese of Przemyśl and Gorlice: Paisius Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and Olinda-Recife: Chrysostom Diocese of Recife: Ambrose Titular
In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator is a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator is, used in this context, derived from of one of many names of God in Judaism; the Pantokrator an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception, is less common by that name in Western Catholicism and unknown to most Protestants. In the West the equivalent image in art is known as Christ in Majesty, which developed a rather different iconography. Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a stern, all-powerful judge of humanity; when the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used both for YHWH Sabaoth "Lord of Hosts" and for El Shaddai "God Almighty". In the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul and nine times in the Book of Revelation: 1:8, 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7, 16:14, 19:6, 19:15, 21:22; the references to God and Christ in Revelation are at times interchangeable, Pantokrator appears to be reserved for God except in 1:8.
The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek words πᾶς, pas, i.e. "all" and κράτος, kratos, i.e. "strength", "might", "power". This is understood in terms of potential power. Another, more literal translation is "Ruler of All" or, less "Sustainer of the World". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for "all" and the verb meaning "To accomplish something" or "to sustain something"; this translation speaks more to God's actual power. God does everything; the icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most common religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Speaking, in Medieval eastern roman church art and architecture, an iconic mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, in the half-dome of the apse, or on the nave vault; some scholars consider the Pantocrator a Christian adaptation of images of Zeus, such as the great statue of Zeus enthroned at Olympia.
The development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace. The image of Christ Pantocrator was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church and remains a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the half-length image, Christ holds the New Testament in his left hand and makes the gesture of teaching or of blessing with his right; the typical Western Christ in Majesty is a full-length icon. In the early Middle Ages, it presented Christ in a mandorla or other geometric frame, surrounded by the Four Evangelists or their symbols; the oldest known surviving example of the icon of Christ Pantocrator was painted in encaustic on panel in the sixth or seventh century, survived the period of destruction of images during the Iconoclastic disputes that twice racked the Eastern church, 726 to 787 and 814 to 842. It was preserved in the remote desert of the Sinai; the gessoed panel, finely painted using a wax medium on a wooden panel, had been coarsely overpainted around the face and hands at some time around the thirteenth century.
When the overpainting was cleaned in 1962, the ancient image was revealed to be a high-quality icon produced in Constantinople. The icon, traditionally half-length when in a semi-dome, which became adopted for panel icons depicts Christ frontal with a somewhat melancholy and stern aspect, with the right hand raised in blessing or, in the early encaustic panel at Saint Catherine's Monastery, the conventional rhetorical gesture that represents teaching; the left hand holds a closed book with a richly decorated cover featuring the Cross, representing the Gospels. An icon where Christ has an open book is called "Christ the Teacher", a variant of the Pantocrator. Christ is bearded, his brown hair centrally parted, his head is surrounded by a halo; the icon is shown against a gold background comparable to the gilded grounds of mosaic depictions of the Christian emperors. The name of Christ is written on each side of the halo, as IC and XC. Christ's fingers are depicted in a pose that represents the letters IC, X and C, thereby making the Christogram ICXC.
The IC is composed of the Greek characters iota and lunate sigma —the first and last letters of'Jesus' in Greek. In many cases, Christ has a cruciform halo inscribed with the letters Ο Ω Ν, i.e. ὁ ὢν "He Who Is". Christ in Majesty Christ the Redeemer Depiction of Jesus Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo Salvator Mundi Transfiguration of Jesus The Christ Pantocrator Icon at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai The icon Christ Pantocrator at Chilandar Monastery on Holy Mount Athos The Deesis Pantocrator in Hagia Sophia
Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus from the dead after his crucifixion. According to the Apostle Paul, as stated by Newbigin, "in the ministry and resurrection of Jesus God has acted decisively to reveal and effect his purpose of redemption for the whole world." According to the Bible, "God raised him from the dead", he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God", will return again to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God. The earliest surviving Christian writings are the letters of Paul, written between 50-57 AD. In one of these, his First Epistle to the Corinthians, he passes on what he has been told of how, after his death and burial, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter to "the Twelve," to five hundred followers to James to "all the Apostles." He claims that Jesus subsequently appeared to him in the same way he did to the others, in 2 Corinthians 12 he tells of "a man in Christ who... was caught up to the third heaven", while the language is obscure it is plausible that he saw Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God.
In the Epistle to the Philippians he describes how the body of the resurrected Christ is utterly different to the one he wore when he had "the appearance of a man," and holds out a similar glorified state, when Christ "will transform our lowly body," as the goal of the Christian life - "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and Christians entering the kingdom will be "putting off the body of the flesh". According to N. T. Wright in his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, "There can be no question: Paul is a firm believer in bodily resurrection, he stands with his fellow Jews against the massed ranks of pagans. Habermas argues three facts in support of Paul's belief in a physical resurrection body: Paul is a Pharisee and therefore believes in a physical resurrection. In Philippians 3:11 Paul says "That I may attain to the ek anastasis" from the dead, which according to Habermas means that "What goes down is what comes up". In Philippians 3:20–21 "We look from heaven for Jesus who will change our vile soma to be like unto his soma".
According to Habermas, if Paul meant that we would change into a spiritual body Paul would have used the Greek pneuma instead of soma. According to Gary Habermas, "Many other scholars have spoken in support of a bodily notion of Jesus’ resurrection."Many scholars have contended that in discussion on the resurrection, the apostle Paul refers to a rabbinic style transmission of an early authoritative tradition that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth. For this and other reasons, it is believed that this creed is of pre-Pauline origin. Geza Vermes writes that the creed is "a tradition he has inherited from his seniors in the faith concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus"; the creed's ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection. Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 " after his conversion.
All four gospels climax with the resurrection, preparing the reader by having Jesus predict it, or through allusions that only the reader will understand. The moment of resurrection is not described; the body of Jesus was buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea in accordance with Mosaic Law, which stated that a person hanged on a tree must not be allowed to remain there at night, but should be buried before sundown. When women followers of Jesus came to the tomb early on the third day they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. An angel told them that they should inform the remaining disciples. In Matthew and John, although not in Mark, the resurrection announcement is followed by post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his followers - the number and location of these varies, from a single appearance in Galilee in Matthew to several appearances in Jerusalem in Luke to appearances in both Jerusalem and Galillee in John; the Apostle Paul records a series of post-resurrection appearances, the last being to himself - an appearance to Paul is recorded in detail in Acts, but it differs from that in the Pauline epistles.
These end with the ascension of Jesus to heaven - this is assumed in all the gospels and in other New Testament literature but described only in Acts, where it prepares the reader for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and for the missionary task of the early church. Paul's proof of the resurrection is the appearances of the risen Lord to himself. At some point such appearances ceased - after a single day according to Luke, after forty according to Acts, although the Paul's experience was many years after that. In any event, the end of personal appearances meant that for the gospel-authors alternative proofs were needed; these were found in the narratives of the empty tomb, angelic announcement, witnesses to post-resurrection appearances on Earth rather than in heaven. In the process they moved from a Jewish to a Hellenistic and Roman paradigm in which Jesus dies and is buried, his body disappears, he returns in an immortalised physical body, able to appear and disappear at will like a
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople; because of its historical location as the capital of the former Eastern Roman Empire and its role as the Mother Church of most modern Orthodox churches, Constantinople holds a special place of honor within Orthodoxy and serves as the seat for the Ecumenical Patriarch, who enjoys the status of Primus inter pares among the world's Eastern Orthodox prelates and is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. The Ecumenical Patriarchate promotes the expansion of the Christian faith and Orthodox doctrine, the Ecumenical Patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions. Prominent issues in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's policy in the 21st century include the safety of the believers in the Middle East, reconciliation of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, the reopening of the Theological School of Halki, closed down by the Turkish authorities in 1971.
Christianity in Byzantium existed from the 1st century, but it was in the year 330 that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great moved his residence to the small Greek town of Byzantium, renaming it Nova Roma. From that time, the importance of the church there grew, along with the influence of its bishop. Prior to the moving of the imperial capital, the bishop of Byzantium had been under the authority of the metropolitan of Heraclea, but beginning in the 4th century, he grew to become independent in his own right and to exercise authority throughout what is now Greece, Asia Minor and Thrace. With the development of the hierarchical structure of the Church, the bishop of Constantinople came to be styled as exarch. Constantinople was recognized as the fourth patriarchate at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, after Antioch and Rome; the patriarch was appointed by Antioch. Because of the importance of the position of Constantinople's church at the center of the Roman Empire, affairs involving the various churches outside Constantinople's direct authority came to be discussed in the capital where the intervention of the emperor was desired.
The patriarch became a liaison between the emperor and bishops traveling to the capital, thus establishing the position of the patriarch as one involving the unity of the whole Church in the East. In turn, the affairs of the Constantinopolitan church were overseen not just by the patriarch, but by synods held including visiting bishops; this pan-Orthodox synod came to be referred to as the ενδημουσα συνοδος. The resident synod not only governed the business of the patriarchate but examined questions pertinent to the whole Church as well as the eastern half of the old empire; the patriarch thus came to have the title of Ecumenical, which referenced not a universal episcopacy over other bishops, but rather the position of the patriarch as at the center of the oikoumeni, the "household" of the empire. As the Roman Empire stabilized and grew, so did the influence of the patriarchate at its capital; this influence came to be enshrined in Orthodox canon law, to such an extent that it was elevated beyond more ancient patriarchates: Canon 3 of the First Council of Constantinople stated that the bishop of that city "shall have primacy of honor after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is the New Rome."
In its disputed 28th Canon, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 recognized an expansion of the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of its authority over bishops of dioceses "among the barbarians", variously interpreted as referring either to areas outside the Byzantine Empire or to non-Greeks. The council resulted in a schism with the Patriarchate of Alexandria. In any case, for a thousand years the Patriarch of Constantinople presided over the church in the Eastern Roman Empire and its missionary activity that brought the Christian faith in its Byzantine form to many peoples north of the imperial borders; the cathedral church of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia, was the center of religious life in the eastern Christian world. The Ecumenical Patriarchate came to be called the "Great Church of Christ" and it was the touchstone and reference point for ecclesiastical affairs in the East, whether in terms of church government, relations with the state, or liturgical matters. In history and in canonical literature, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been granted certain prerogatives which other autocephalous Orthodox churches do not have.
Not all of these prerogatives are today universally acknowledged, though all do have precedents in history and canonical references. The following is a list of these prerogatives and their reference points: Equal prerogatives to Old Rome.
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'; the ROC, as well as the primate thereof ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019; the Christianization of Kievan Rus' seen as the birth of the ROC, is believed to have occurred in 988 through the baptism of the Kievan prince Vladimir and his people by the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whose constituent part the ROC remained for the next six centuries, while the Kievan see remained in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until 1686.
The ROC claims its exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Christians, irrespective of their ethnic background, who reside in the former member republics of the Soviet Union, excluding Georgia and Armenia, although this claim is disputed in such countries as Estonia and Ukraine and parallel canonical Orthodox jurisdictions exist in those: the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Metropolis of Bessarabia, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, respectively. It exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China; the ROC branches in Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine since the 1990s enjoy various degrees of self-government, albeit short of the status of formal ecclesiastical autonomy. The ROC should not be confused with the Orthodox Church in America, another autocephalous Orthodox church, that traces its existence in North America to the time of the Russian missionaries in Alaska in the late 18th century; the ROC should not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, headquartered in the United States.
The ROCOR was instituted in the 1920s by Russian communities outside Communist Russia, which refused to recognize the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate de facto headed by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky. The two churches reconciled on May 17, 2007; the Christian community that developed into what is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church is traditionally said to have been founded by the Apostle Andrew, 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; the spot where he 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 863–69, the Byzantine monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, both from the region of Macedonia in the Eastern Roman Empire translated parts of the Bible into the Old Church Slavonic language for the first time, paving the way for the Christianization of the Slavs and Slavicized peoples of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Southern Russia.
There is evidence that the first Christian bishop was sent to Novgorod from Constantinople either by Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, c. 866–867. By the mid-10th century, there was a Christian community among Kievan nobility, under the leadership of Bulgarian and Byzantine priests, although paganism remained the dominant religion. Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus′, born a Christian, her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus' a Christian state. The official Christianization of Kievan Rus' is believed to have occurred in 988 AD, when Prince Vladimir was baptised himself and ordered his people to be baptised by the priests from the Eastern Roman Empire; the Kievan church was a junior metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Ecumenical Patriarch appointed the metropolitan, a Greek, who governed the Church of Rus'. The Kiev Metropolitan's residence was located in Kiev itself, the capital of the medieval Rus' state; as Kiev was losing its political and economical significance due to the Mongol invasion, Metropolitan Maximus moved to Vladimir in 1299.
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 tolerant and granted tax exemption to the church; such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Mongol rule, to expand both economically and spiritually. The Trinity monastery founded by Sergius of Radonezh became the setting for the flourishing of spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others; the followers of Sergius founded four hundred monasteries, thus extending the geographical extent of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1439, at t
Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Archbishop Rastislav of Prešov was elected by the Extraordinary Synod held on January 11, 2014, as the new primate. On December 9, 2013, the Synod removed Archbishop Simeon of Olomouc and Brno from his position as Locum Tenens, appointed Archbishop Rastislav in his place, an action against which Archbishop Simeon protested and, deplored by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople; the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia presents both an ancient history as well as a modern history. The present day church occupies the land of Great Moravia, where the brothers Ss. Cyril and Methodius began their mission to the Slavs, introducing the liturgical and canonical order of the Orthodox Church, translated into the Church Slavonic language, using Greek calques to explain concepts for which no Slavic term existed. In doing this they developed the first Slavic alphabet, a mixture of Greek and Hebrew-based characters with a few invented characters of their own to represent unique Slavic sounds.
This was done at the express invitation of the powerful ruler Rastislav of Moravia. Yet within the Moravian state there was a Frankish party among the nobility who desired closer ties with the Kingdom of Francia, whose ruler, Louis the German, was Ratislav's nominal suzerain, a Frankish bishop had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over a small part of Ratislav's domain that had earlier converted to Christianity. Despite the Photian Schism, the churches of Rome and Constantinople still preserved some semblance of unity, Pope Nicholas I did not want to see the formation of a large independent Frankish church in Central Europe; when an appeal of the ecclesiastical issue was made to Rome, Nicholas summoned both Cyril and Methodius and the complaining Frankish parties to his court to hear them out. Nicholas died before their arrival, but the new Pope Adrian II reached a compromise after hearing both sides: Old Church Slavonic was confirmed as a liturgical language alongside Greek and Latin, Methodius was confirmed as bishop with a Frankish co-adjutor, Wiching.
Adrian was convinced by Cyril's impassioned defence of the Slavic liturgy in which he cited 1 Corinthians 14:19 "Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." Cyril fell ill while the brothers were still at Rome, on his deathbed he asked Methodius to swear to return to Moravia and complete the mission to the Slavs instead of returning to the monastic life on Mount Olympus as he had intended to do. Methodius kept his word and returned, but his mission was interrupted by the death of Ratislav, as the new ruler, Svatopluk I of Moravia sided with the pro-Frankish party and had Methodius imprisoned for three years, until he was freed through the intercession of Pope John VIII. For the next ten years, Methodius continued his work, but the death of John VIII in 882 removed his papal protection, Methodius died in 885. After this, Pope Stephen V of Rome confirmed his Swabian co-adjutor Wiching as bishop.
Methodius's disciples were imprisoned, expelled to Bulgaria, like Gorazd and many others, or enslaved. The expelled, led by Clement of Ohrid and Naum of Preslav, were of great importance to the Orthodox faith in the Christian from year 864 Bulgaria, after they were released from prison and escorted to the Danube. In AD 870 the Fourth Council of Constantinople granted the Bulgarians the right to have the oldest organized autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church that little from autonomous Bulgarian archbishopric, became Patriarchate. Major event that strengthens the process of Christianization was the developement of the Cyrillic script in Bulgaria at the founded by Naum and Clement Preslav Literary School in the 9th century; the Cyrillic script and the liturgy in Old Church Slavonic called Old Bulgarian, were declared official in Bulgaria in 893. The Eastern Orthodox ecclesiastical order survived in present-day eastern Slovakia and neighboring regions due to its nearness and influence to Kievan Rus among the population of Rusyn people, until the middle of 17th century when the Union of Uzhhorod was brought about in the Kingdom of Hungary.
During the times of suppression, remaining Eastern Orthodox Christians from the region kept their ties with neighboring Eastern Orthodox Eparchy of Buda of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć and with the Metropolitanate of Karlovci. One of the most northern parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church existed in the Slovak city of Komárno with local church built in 18th century still standing today. After the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, legal restraints to Eastern Orthodoxy were removed. In the new state, Eastern Orthodox communities were located in the eastern parts of the country, including Carpathian Rusynia, incorporated into Czechoslovakia in 1919. In that region, the city of Mukačevo was located with its traditions going back to the old Eastern Orthodox Eparchy of Mukačevo, that existed before the Union of Užgorod. In the spirit of Eastern Orthodox revival, many people in the region left the Greek Catholic Church. Since there were no Eastern Orthodox bishops in Czechoslovakia, local leaders looked to the Serbian Orthodox Church because Serbs were and ethnically close to Czechs and Rusyns.
That view was supported by state authorities of Czechoslovakia. In order to regulate the ecclesiastical order, Bishop Dositej Vasić of Niš arrived in Prague and