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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 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.

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The reign of Ivan III and his successor was plagued by a number of heresies and controversies.

One party, led by Nil Sorsky and Vassian Kosoy, called for the secularisation of monastic properties.

The Kievan church was a junior metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Ecumenical patriarch appointed the metropolitan, who usually was a Greek, who governed the Church of Rus'.

The Metropolitan's residence was originally located in Kiev itself, the capital of the medieval Rus' state.

Despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were generally tolerant and even granted tax exemption to the Church.

Such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Tatar oppression, and to expand both economically and spiritually.

They were opposed by the influential Joseph of Volotsk, who defended ecclesiastical ownership of land and property.

The sovereign's position fluctuated, but eventually he threw his support to Joseph.

The ROC branches in Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine since the 1990s enjoy various degrees of self-government, albeit short of the status of formal ecclesiastical autonomy.

In Ukraine, ROC (represented by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church) has tensions with schismatic groups supported by the current government, while it enjoys the position of numerically dominant religious organisation.

Isidore was in the same year removed from his position as an apostate and expelled from Moscow.

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