In the IX century Christianity took Bulgarians and Serbs. In 988 A.D. happened baptism of Rus by Prince Vladimir. Since that time Christianity was strengthened in Russia. In the mid-sixteenth century took place in Moscow on the stoglavi Council (resolution included 100 heads). In 1589, in Russia was established by the Patriarchate.
In the middle of the XVIIth century Patriarch Nikon spent the Church reform, the main elements of which were:
1) establishing the cult of worship, while the sample was taken Greek order of divine services, and the liturgical books were corrected on the Greek models;
2) custom simultaneously read and sing different was replaced by единоголосием;
3) put the sign of the cross three fingers instead of two, belt bows;
4) religious processions on the sun were replaced with moves towards the sun.
Against Nikon's reform was part of the clergy led by Protopopov Аввакумом and their supporters among the parishioners. At the Council in 1666-1667, opponents of Nikon were anathema. So there was for the old believers. Old believers of the state pursued until the end of the XIX century. Dogmatic differences almost no differences between the old believers relate mainly to the ritual parts:
1) recognize the двуперстное the sign of the cross;
2) only full prostrations;
3) eight-pointed cross;
4) «Jesus» without the second letter «and»;
5) during communion seven of unleavened bread, and not five.
In the reign of Peter I the administration of the Church passed into the hands of the state, the Patriarchate was abolished, the Affairs of the Orthodox Church was in charge of the Holy Synod, which was headed by the chief Prosecutor, appointed by the king. The Patriarchate was restored only in 1917. In 1918, a Decree was passed to the separation of the Church from the state. The Bolsheviks began to struggle with religion, which was called «opium for people». Began to destroy and closed monasteries and temples. In the 1930s the Russian clergy was subjected to Stalin's terror. In 1941, in Russia there are only about 100 active Orthodox churches. In the early 1990s in Russia started a new appeal people to religion. According to the law «On freedom of religion» the Russian Orthodox Church received the status of a legal entity. To the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia to the ranks of the saints were classified as Andrei Rublev, Maxim Grek, Dmitry Donskoy, elder Ambrose of Optina.
The structure of the Orthodox Church
The lower Church-administrative unit - the parish Church with причтом (clergy and Church people) and containing their Church community (parishioners). Parishes are United in the district (deanery), which, in turn, enter into the diocese.
Now in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), 14 thousand of parishes (50% in Russia), 94 diocese (48 in Russia), 310 monasteries. The Russian Orthodox Church headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II. The Patriarch is elected by the local Council for life. Under Patriarch operates the Holy Synod. The Russian Orthodox Church has its own hierarchy of priests. The higher clergy, bishops, archbishops and metropolitans. The basis of the Orthodox Church is monasticism.
In the Russian Orthodox Church, there are four stages of monastic life for both men and for women:
1) obedience (candidate to the monks, novices, lives and works in the monastery under the guidance of his spiritual mentor);
2) рясофорное tonsure (man adopted the monastic community);
3) minor schema;
4) the great schema.
Monasteries are subordinated to the Bishop of the diocese in which they are located. There are ставропигиальные monasteries (subject only to the Moscow Patriarchate), four Lavra (the Trinity-Sergius, the Alexander Nevsky, and the Kyiv-Pechersk and Uspenskaya Pochaevskaya Lavra), hermitages - small monastery big monastery, where inhabited by monks, who took the great schema. The Orthodox Church celebrates Easter and twelve двунадесятых holidays, nine of which have fixed the date, and the three - overs.
Orthodox Church of the organization
In Orthodoxy in contrast to Catholicism there is no single Church organization. Large Orthodox Church completely independent (автокефальны). At the present time in the world there are 15 Autocephalous churches. The total number of Orthodox 182 million people. Among them: on Ukraine 30 million, in Romania 20 million, in Greece 9.5 million in Serbia and Montenegro 7 million, in Bulgaria 6 million, Belarus of 5 million, in Moldova 3 million, in the UK 400 thousand. in France 260 thousand, in the United States 7 million. in Switzerland 70 thousand. in Italy 36 thousand. Old believers in the world there are more than 3 million people.