Timeline of Orthodoxy in Russia

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Problem of periodisation of Russian Church history

In the church-historical science there are some points of view on a problem of a periodization of Russian Church history. The most notable have been formulated by such famous historians of Russian Church as archbishop of Chernigov Philaret Gumilevsky, Moscow metropolitan Macarius Bulgakov, Evgeny Golubinsky and Igor Smolich.

So, archbishop Philaret (Gumilevsky) in the work «History of the Russian Church» (M, 1850-1851) has allocated five periods in the history of Russian Church:

  1. 988-237
  2. 1238-1409
  3. 1410-1588
  4. 1589-1720
  5. 1720-1825

Periodization bases have been developed in detail by metropolitan Makariy (Bulgakov). He has distinguished three big periods, and also the special period defined as "introduction in history of Russian Church" -"Christianity history in Russia to equal-to-apostles prince Vladimir". The basic periods were distinguished proceeding from canonical status of the Russian Church: 1) full dependence of the Russian Church on the Constantinople Patriarchate (988-1240); 2) gradual transition of the Russian Church from this dependence to independence (1240-1589); 3) the independence (autocephalous) period (with 1589).

Subperiods in each of three periods were distinguished already on "internal" to signs, were defined by time of primacy of heads of the Church taking into account reignings and reigns, becouse the church life was defined not only by spiritual and moral authority of hierarches heading Church, but also and by a policy of the state and its secular ruler. In the third period "Russian Church in perod of its autocephaly" metr. Macarius has had time to investigate only the initial stage, to the Council 1666-1667. The History of the Moscow Patriarchate is stated in parallel with history West-russian metropolis.

E. Golubinsky has distinguished three periods in Russian church history: Kievan, Moscow and Petersburg. The invasion of Mongols and the establishment of the Synod (1721) became borders between the periods. Howener it is necessary to note that Golubinsky proved his allocation on the doubtful precondition of absence of true spiritual education in medieval Russia. In his opinion, the Kievan and Moscow periods represent actually a single whole characterised by absence of the valid education which we have not acquired with acceptance of Christianity and without which remained to Peter the Great ("Golubinsky". Vol. 1, part 1, page XXII). During this period in national religious consciousness "the external more or less prevailed more or less over internal, is conditional-formal ceremonialism - over true belief". However, if during the Kievan period this prevalence still kept measures, during the period Moscow it has gone into extremes». Golubinsky understood the Petersburg period as time of establishing in Russia the present education and more perfect understanding of Christianity.

Russian Church under the Patriarch of Constantinople

  • First century Apostle Andrew First-called visits the future Russian lands, planted a cross on one of the high hills of Kiev
  • 864 Patriarch Photius sends bishop to Kiev
  • 954 Princess Ol'ha (Olga) of Kiev baptized.
  • 983 Protomartyrs Theodor and his son John

Period of the Kievan Metropolia (988-1304)

Russian Church after the mongol invasion (since 1237)

  • 1245 Martyrdom of right-believing Prince Michael of Chernigov and his boyarin Theodore in Gold Orda
  • 1261 Sarai diocese (in Gold Orda) was established
  • 1263 † Right-believing Prince Alexander Nevsky
  • 1267 The first authentically known yarlyk (decree) of Mongol khans granted freedom for the faith and tax exemption to the Church.
  • 1342 Sergius of Radonezh with his brother Stephan founded Holy Trinity Lavra;
  • 1379-1396 Missionary activity of Equal-to-the-Apostles Stephan of Perm (1340-1396), Enlightener of Komi
  • 1378 † Metropolitan Alexis of Moscow
  • 1392 † St. Sergius of Radonezh, September 25;

South-west (Kievan-Lithuanian) Metropolis (1458—1686) under the Patriarch of Constantinople

  • 1596 Union of Brest, large persecutions on the Orthodoxy in Polish–Lithuanian_Commonwealth
  • 1646 †Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev
  • 1686 Kievan metropolis passed from jurisdiction of Constantinople under Moscow Patriarchate

Autocephalous Russian Metropolis

  • 1448 Russian Church (Moscow Metropolis) became autocephalous
  • 1471 †Metropolitan Jonas of Moscow
  • 1508 †Nilus of Sora
  • 1515 †Joseph of Volokalamsk
  • 1551 Council of a Hundred Chapters (Stoglav) in Moscow
  • 1555 Kazan Diocese is established
  • 1566, July 25 - 1568, November 4 St. Phillip, Metropolitan of Moscow
  • †1569 St. Phillip was martyred by Tsar Ivan IV (the terrible), January 23
  • †1570 Cornelius of the Pskov Caves was martyred by Tsar Ivan IV (the terrible), February 20;
  • 1580 †John of Rostov, September 3
  • 1588 Tsar Theodore applies for permission to form a new Patriarchate for the Russian people.

First Patriarchate Period

  • 1700 Peter the Great published an Ukase (edict) on June 18th that made a resounding appeal for the propagation of the faith in Siberia and China; death of Patr. Adrian.
  • 1700-†1720 Metropolitan Stephen Yavorsky
  • 1702 In response to the Ukaz of 1700, Philothei (Leschinsky) of Kiev is chosen as Metropolitan of Tobolsk and All Siberia (1702-1711), long since a center of missionary operations, in order to "lead the natives in China and Siberia to the service of the true and living God"; he built 37 churches and personally accounted for the baptism of 40,000 Siberian tribesmen by 1721.

The Synodical Church (1720-1917)

Russian Orthodox Church during Communist ruling

Russian Orthodox Church after the collapse of the Soviet Union

Further reading

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  1. Source: "A LIFELONG PASSION, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA THEIR OWN STORY"., Andrei Maylunas and Sergi Mironenko., Doubleday, New York., February 1997., pp. 638-639).