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Her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus' officially a Christian state.
The official Christianization of Kievan Rus' is widely 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 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, 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.
Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival and life of the Russian state.
The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'.
The spot where he reportedly erected a cross is now marked by St. 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 Greek monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, both from Greek Macedonia, translated parts of the Bible into 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, Ukraine, and Southern Russia.
The ROC should not be confused with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), another autocephalous Orthodox Church (since 1970, albeit not universally recognised in this status), that traces its existence in North America to the time of the Russian missionaries in Alaska (then part of the Russian Empire) in the late 18th century, and still adheres to the ROC liturgical tradition. The ROCOR was instituted in the 1920s by Russian communities outside then Communist Russia, which refused to recognize the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate then de facto headed by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky.
The ROC should also not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, or ROCOR), headquartered in New York, New York, U. The two Churches reconciled on May 17, 2007; the ROCOR is now a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church.
This occurred five years prior to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and, unintentionally, signified the beginning of an effectively independent church structure in the Moscow (North-Eastern Russian) part of the Russian Church.