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07 Jul

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.

In December 1448, Jonas, a Russian bishop, was installed by the Council of Russian bishops in Moscow as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia (with permanent residence in Moscow) without the consent from Constantinople.

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.

The ROC currently claims its exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Christians, irrespective of their ethnic background, who reside in the former member republics of the Soviet Union, excluding Georgia and Armenia, although this claim is disputed in such countries as Estonia, Moldova and Ukraine and consequently parallel canonical Orthodox jurisdictions exist in those: Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and Metropolis of Bessarabia, respectively.

It also exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China.

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.

Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival and life of the Russian 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.

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.