Christian History Institute

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items tagged with russian orthodox church

Magazine Issues


31 May 1997

A Taste of Glory

by Paul Meyendorff | Issue 54

I N 987, Prince Vladimir of Kiev is said to have sent emissaries to different countries to learn about the religion and worship of each. He was searching for an appropriate faith for his people.

The emissaries went first to the Volga Bulgars. These Muslims they reportedly found disgraceful, sorrowful, and having a “dreadful stench.” And among the Germans (Western Christians), the ambassadors reported they saw “no glory.” In Constantinople, they were taken to Hagia Sophia, the cathedral church of the capital. Their report:

"We knew not...

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31 May 1988

The History of Russian Christianity: Christian History Timeline

by the Editors | Issue 18

General World History

Before 1000

800  Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor

935  Wang Chien establishes central monarchy in China

954–55  Norman invasions of France

963–1025  Basil II is Byzantine emperor

981  Eric the Red visits Greenland

988  Vikings attack England


1000  Leif Ericsson reaches America

1054  The Great Separation between Eastern and Western Churches takes place, and largely remains to this day

1066  The Normans conquer England

1071  Byzantine Empire is defeated by Turks at Manzikert

1096–99  First Crusade: to Jerusalem



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31 May 1988

What is Eastern Orthodoxy Anyway?

by Alexander Melnyk | Issue 18

The Eastern Orthodox faith is at the center of many of the millennial celebrations, but to many of our readers—specially the Western Protestants—it may be a mysterious, unknown quantity. This article provides a Ukrainian Orthodox adherent’s introduction to his faith, including distinctives in worship and theology.

To most western-hemisphere Protestants, the Eastern Orthodox Church—despite so many media—hyped millennium celebrations revolving around it—is still very much a mysterious unknown, a phenomenon almost altogether outside their...

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31 May 1988

The Soviet Union Celebrates 1000 Years of Christianity

by Ihor G. Kutash | Issue 18

What’s Going On?

Christianity in the regions now considered part of the Soviet Union has a long and glorious history, dating back even before 988. But it seems that an atheistic state like the USSR would disdain any mention of that history, much less a grand celebration of it. So what’s going on—and what’s wrong—with the big Soviet show?

It’s finally come. the observance that millions of Ukrainian, Byelorussian and Russian Christians have been waiting for, the millennium of the Christianization of Rus’. That is, the alleged 1,000th...

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31 May 1988

The Primary Source of the Millennium Legends/Historical Events

by Nestor the Monk and the Editors | Issue 18

THESE EXCERPTS from what is known by the Eastern Slavs as the  Primary Chronicle , written nearly 900 years ago, contain in dramatic prose the chief accounts upon which the millennial celebrations are based: that of the Apostle Andrew visiting Ukraine; that of Olga’s baptism; and that of the great baptism of Kiev.

It is being called, variously (depending upon one’s biases), “The Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine,” “The Millennium of Christianity in Russia,” “The Millennium of Christianity in the USSR,” “The Millennium of the Russian...

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31 May 1988

The Orthodox Art/Ministry of Icons

by the Editors | Issue 18

icon from St. Petersburg

CC BY 2.5 , Link

STYLIZED RELIGIOUS PAINTINGS, such as this one of Christ, are still a significant part of the Eastern Orthodox faith that Prince Vladimir adopted as his kingdom’s official religion c. 988. They are numerous in modern Orthodox Churches. But to the Orthodox they are far more than mere paintings.

In their eyes, icons are a ministry, to the heart as much as to the eyes. They not only see them as works of beauty, and thus carefully preserve and venerate them; they also see the beauty of the icons as turning the believer’s...

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31 May 1988

History of Russian Christianity: Did You Know?

by the Editors | Issue 18

That  Prince Vladimir, the Slavic ruler credited with the Christianization of Rus’ (not Russia), allegedly ordered all the inhabitants of Kiev, his capital city, to appear at the river for baptism on a particular day in 988 or they would be considered enemies of the kingdom?

That  one reason Vladimir allegedly decided to accept Christianity was because, after hearing defenses of several major religions, he was healed from an eye disease after his grandmother Olga prayed to her god, the God of the Orthodox?

That  another alleged reason for...

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15 Nov 1990

988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity

Issue 28

IN 1988 THE CHRISTIAN WORLD CELEBRATED the thousand-year anniversary of Christianity in Russia. Although 988 was indeed a pivotal year for Russian Christians, it isn’t quite accurate to describe it as the birth year of Christianity there.

Christianity had, in fact, penetrated “Russia” by the early 900s, when at least one church had been built in the ancient city of Kiev. In the 950s, Olga, the grandmother of Vladimir, was baptized. She asked German king Otto I to send missionaries to her country, but apparently they met little success.


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15 May 1988

The Rich Heritage of Eastern Slavic Spirituality

by Louis Bouyer and the editors | Issue 18

IN ONLY 460 YEARS (990–1450), less than half the millennium period being celebrated this year, at least several thousand of the Eastern Slavs—and this is based solely on the number taking monastic vows—were exercising themselves in spiritual devotions and service. Here are the stories of only a few of the leading lights.

The spirituality of the Orthodox believers in Eastern Slavic territories, like the spirituality of the entire Orthodox faith itself, is largely unknown to most Western, Protestant readers. But there is much in the history...

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15 May 1988

Of Mass Baptisms and National Churches

by David M. Kemmerer | Issue 18

TO COME APPROPRIATELY TO THIS MILLENNIUM of the Christianization of Rus is to come respectfully, to come in awareness that one is contemplating the wellspring of a thousand years of rich spirituality and Christian culture among one of the great families of mankind. All protestations of various nationalists notwithstanding, the Christianization of the Kievan Rus c. 988 is, in point of fact, a milestone belonging to all the Eastern Slavs: the Ukrainians, the Byelorussians, and the Great Russians. It is not just a single event, but the...

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