But around the turn of the 20th century, something drastic happened. In the period following the revolution, and during the communist persecutions up to 1970, no canonizations took place. The Trinity monastery north of Moscow, founded by Sergius of Radonezh, became the setting for the flourishing of spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others. In fact, leading hierarchs have sided more than once with atheist of officials against overly active and popular priests. Around 90 million people out of total population of 125 million identified themselves as … In 1920, after the Russian Revolution and establishment of the Soviet Union, Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow issued an ukase (decree) that dioceses of the Church of Russia that were cut off from the governance of the highest Church authority should be managed independently until such time as normal relations could be resumed. The church in Imperial Russia reconsidered. To defy the hierarchs could divide the Church, but to follow their political line strikes many as hypocritical. , Metropolitan Alexy (Ridiger) of Leningrad, ascended the patriarchal throne in 1990 and presided over the partial return of Orthodox Christianity to Russian society after 70 years of repression, transforming the ROC to something resembling its pre-communist appearance; some 15,000 churches had been re-opened or built by the end of his tenure, and the process of recovery and rebuilding has continued under his successor Patriarch Kirill.  Clifford J. Before those people, however, to whom the compromises, silence, forced passivity or expressions of loyalty permitted by the leaders of the church in those years caused pain, before these people, and not only before God, I ask forgiveness, understanding and prayers." the Holy Synod and the Patriarch) should be managed independently until such time as normal relations with the highest Church authority could be resumed, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was established; by bishops who had left Russia in the wake of the Russian Civil War. Later, of course, they would try to destroy them as well. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, while acknowledging the primacy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, believed that the small Roman 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). Accordingly, the clergy, hierarchy and other representatives of the believers held a sobor, or council, which reestablished the patriarchate that had been suppressed by Tsar Peter the Great in 1721. The Russian Orthodox Church has a special veneration for St Nicholas, and many Russian pilgrims came to Bari. Although the medieval Russian Church had constructed an administration to exercise its broad spiritual and temporal authority, it exhibited the same organisational backwardness as did the secular regime. NKVD demanded "to outline persons who have religious authority among the clergy and believers, and at the same time checked for civic or patriotic work".  On 3 November, Patriarch Kirill failed to commemorate the Primate of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, during a liturgy in Moscow. They were opposed by the influential Joseph of Volotsk, who defended ecclesiastical ownership of land and property. For some of them he was a friend; for others, a godfather; for many (including Yakunin), a spiritual father.. Among Christian churches, the Russian Orthodox Church is second only to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of numbers of followers. The ROC constituent parts in other than the Russian Federation countries of its exclusive jurisdiction such as Ukraine, Belarus et al., are legally registered as separate legal entities in accordance with the relevant legislation of those independent states. However, the Soviet policy vis-a-vis organised religion vacillated over time between, on the one hand, a utopian determination to substitute secular rationalism for what they considered to be an outmoded "superstitious" worldview and, on the other, pragmatic acceptance of the tenaciousness of religious faith and institutions. All parishes in a geographical region belong to an eparchy (Russian: епархия—equivalent to a Western diocese). Very Rev. How the Russian Orthodox Church Influences Russia's Behavior. Zuzemihl), a bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church (subsequently, a high-ranking hierarch—the ROC Metropolitan Iriney of Vienna, who died in July 1999). RUSSIAN Orthodox Christians in Nice have vowed to resist the attempted takeover of their properties by the Russian government, as part of moves to extend the Moscow Patriarchate’s outreach across Western Europe.  Among the prominent figures of that time were Father Dmitri Dudko and Father Aleksandr Men. 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