Friday, July 31, 2009

History of Russian/Ukrainian Christianity

Webpage sources: and


Before 1000

c. 50–60 St. Andrew allegedly does mission work in Ukraine and, standing on the future site of Kiev, predicts that a great Christian city will one day exist there

860–65 With Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Christian missions to the Slavic nations begin in earnest; Cyril establishes Cyrillic alphabet that is still used by Eastern Slavs today

c. 864 Under the auspices of Rus’ Prince Askold and Patriarch Photius, the first baptism in Rus’-Ukraine

869 Eighth Ecumenical Council (in Constantinople)

955 Princess Olga, the queen of Kievan Rus’, is baptized at Constantinople

988–991 Mass baptism takes places at Kiev, Grand Prince Vladimir makes Orthodox Christianity the national religion of Rus’—which it remained until 1917
"Prince Vladimir, the Slavic ruler credited with the Christianization of Rus’ (not Russia), allegedly ordered all the inhabitants of Kiev, his capital city, to appear at the river for baptism on a particular day in 988 or they would be considered enemies of the kingdom."
"One reason Vladimir allegedly decided to accept Christianity was because, after hearing defenses of several major religions, he was healed from an eye disease after his grandmother Olga prayed to her god, the God of the Orthodox."

"Another alleged reason for Vladimir’s conversion was his emissaries’ report that when they saw the grandeur of the Eastern Orthodox services in Constantinople, they were so awed that “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for on earth there is no such splendor or such beauty!”"


1019 Yaroslav receives a metropolitan appointed by the Patriarch of Constantinople; this Rus’-Byzantium link continues for nearly 400 years

1025 The beautiful St. Sophia Cathedral is constructed in Kiev

1037 The Russian Orthodox Church comes under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople


1113 The Church of St. Nicholas, one of the first “onion-domed churches,” is built at Novgorod, Russia


1204 Eastern Christendom’s center, Constantinople, falls to Western Christendom’s Crusaders

1206–26 Temujin is proclaimed Gengis Khan, rules the Mongols

1220-21 Mongols invade India

1237–40 Mongols invade and destroy Kiev

1250 Hats come into fashion, and goose quills are used for writing

1261 Easterners retake Constantinople


1325 The metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church is transferred to Moscow

1326 Moscow becomes capital of Russia, and official center of Russian Orthodox Church

1363 Timur the Lame (Tamerlaine) begins his conquest of Asia

1392 Sergius of Radonezh, the patron saint of Russia, dies

1396 Stephen, a Russian Orthodox bishop and famous missionary, dies


1431–49 The Mongols’ domination of Russia comes to an end

1448 See of Moscow is raised to independent status

1450 Moscow emerges as “The Third Rome,” claiming to have succeeded Rome and Constantinople as the center of the Orthodox Church; Russian Orthodoxy remains virtually untouched by the Renaissance and Reformation


1551 The historic Council of Moscow indicates the declining influence of the patriarchate of Constantinople and the rising influence of Moscow

1589–1605 In Moscow, Iov serves as the first patriarch of the new Russian Orthodox Patriarchate

1596 The Orthodox in Poland unite with Rome, forming what is known as the Uniate Church


1629 Cyril Lucano, the patriarch of Constantinople, makes a Calvinist confession of faith

1642–58 Patriarch Nikon tries to reform the Russian Orthodox Church; a schism results

1690–1700 Patriarch Adrian is Russian Orthodoxy’s last patriarch until 20th century


1721 Peter the Great abolishes the Moscow Patriarchate, establishes the Holy Synod as a state institution to carry out church reforms

1783 Potemkin captures Crimea for Russia

1794 Russian Orthodox missionaries begin work in Alaska with fur traders and Indians.
"Clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church set foot on what is today known as the State of Alaska in 1794, and established Orthodox churches all the way down to San Francisco, Calif., before Alaska was even purchased from Russia by the United States government."


1848 Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto

1856–1876 Translation of the entire Bible into vernacular Russian

1867 Russia sells Alaska to the U.S.

1870 Bishop Innocent, former missionary to Alaska, founds the Orthodox Missionary Society

1880 Russian Orthodox leaders begin a persecution of all non-Orthodox sects and churches

1891 Russian Orthodox leaders intensify their persecution of the non-Orthodox, making it difficult for them to find employment or living quarters, and taking their children to indoctrinate them in the Orthodox faith; non-Orthodox are tried in Orthodox courts, not civil ones


1904–07 Russo-Japanese War

1917 The Russian Revolution; Moscow Patriarchate is re-established

1918–28 Lenin separates church and state and proclaims religious freedom

1919 The American Ukrainian Orthodox Church is organized

1922 USSR is formed

1929–1939 Stalin’s “Age of Terror”; most Russian Christians suffer greatly under this state-sponsored tyranny; the worst years are ’34–38

1943 Desiring to rally the Russian people in the face of Hitler’s armies, Stalin re-establishes the Russian Orthodox Church

1959–64 Khruschev oversees a great persecution of Christians, though not so murderous as Stalin’s

1961 Churches in the USSR join World Council of Churches

1974–75 For his writings against Soviet repression, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is exiled, writes The Gulag Archipelago, Vols. One and Two

1986 Gorbachev initiates policy of glasnost, or "openness," and Soviets' freedom of religions increases somewhat

1988 Millenial anniversary of Christianity in the USSR

Kievan Rulers

978–1015 Vladimir I rules Kievan Rus’
1019–54 Yaroslav “the Wise” rules Rus’
1113–1125 Vladimir Monomach rules in Rus’
1125–1140 Other members of Vladimir’s dynasty continue to rule a constantly sub-dividing Rus’
1325–1341 Ivan I rules in Moscow
1359–1389 Dmitri Donskoy rules in Moscow
1425–1462 Vasili II rules in Moscow
1462–1505 Ivan III “the Great” rules Russia
1547–1584 Ivan IV “the Terrible” rules Russia
1645–1676 Alexei rules Russia
1721–1725 Peter “the Great” is emperor of Russia
1762–96 Catherine II is empress of Russia
1801–25 Alexander I is tsar of Russia
1894–1917 Nicholas II rules Russia
1920–24 Lenin rules USSR
1924–53 Josef Stalin

No comments:

Post a Comment