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In the process of redefining his power as tsar, Peter curtailed the minimal secular influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was functioning principally as a pillar of the tsarist regime.
In 1721 Peter the Great went so far as to abolish the patriarchate and establish a governmental organ called the Holy Synod, staffed by secular officials, to administer and control the church.
The Russian Orthodox Church, like the other churches that make up Eastern Orthodoxy, is autonomous, or self-governing. Matters relating to faith are decided by ecumenical councils in which all member churches of Eastern Orthodoxy participate.
Large numbers of monasteries were founded in obscure locations across all of the medieval state of Muscovy.
Russia Table of Contents The Russian Orthodox Church has a thousand-year history of strong political as well as spiritual influence over the inhabitants of the Russian state.
After enduring the Soviet era as a state-controlled religious facade, the church quickly regained both membership and political influence in the early 1990s.
Russian Orthodox services, noted for their pageantry, involve the congregation directly by using only the vernacular form of the liturgy.
The liturgy itself includes multiple elaborate systems of symbols meant to convey the content of the faith to believers.
Many liturgical forms remain from the earliest days of Orthodoxy.