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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.The followers of Sergius founded four hundred monasteries, thus greatly extending the geographical extent of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.In 1439, at the Council of Florence, some Orthodox hierarchs from Byzantium as well as Metropolitan Isidore, who represented the Russian Church, signed a union with the Roman Church, whereby the Eastern Church would recognise the primacy of the Pope.

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They were opposed by the influential Joseph of Volotsk, who defended ecclesiastical ownership of land and property.Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus′ who became a Christian.Her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus' officially a Christian state.The official Christianization of Kievan Rus' is widely believed to have occurred in 988 AD, when Prince Vladimir was baptised himself and ordered his people to be baptised by the priests from the Eastern Roman Empire.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'.

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