Russian Orthodox Christians are not all the same. There are differences in the way they believe, practice their religion, and even their relationship to other non-Orthodox Christian groups. This article will discuss a few of them.
The Old Believers are a group of Eastern Orthodox Christians who have a separate identity. They maintain a traditional piety and a strict semi-monastic rule, but they have branched out across the world.
Their origins go back to the 17th century. When the Russian state underwent a radical reform of the Orthodox Church, a number of opposition groups emerged. Some of these dissenters were recognized as ordained priests and consecrated as bishops. Other groups remained schismatics.
In the 1620s, a number of Russian Old Believers rebelled against Nikon, who was the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church at the time. Archpriest Avvakum Petrov led the group’s resistance. At the same time, Northern Russian peasants supported the movement.
During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Tsars tried to persecute the movement. Some Old Believers fled north to the Transbaikal region. Others joined a group known as the Don Cossacks.
As a result of the Soviet revolution, the number of Old Believers decreased significantly. Most of them did not return to Communion with other Orthodox Christians.
Traditions of the church
Traditionally, Orthodox Christians do not refer to their religion as a set of dogmas, but instead call it Tradition. This means the faith of Jesus Christ and the writings of the Fathers. They believe that God has given them an inestimable inheritance, and they are to pass it on unimpaired to future generations.
True Orthodoxy must be able to look beyond theology to Tradition. The Oxford Dictionary defines Tradition as an opinion or belief that has been passed down from ancestors or the Church. Among the important elements of Orthodox Tradition are Scripture, councils, and the liturgy.
The Russian Orthodox church has a long history. Many of its traditions have been confirmed by the church sobor of 1551. It became a set of laws for church life for the next 100 years.
In the early days of the Russian church, a group of believers called Popovtsy opposed the reforms of Patriarch Nikon. This movement became known as the Old Believers.
Relationship with non-Orthodox Christians
The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the world’s autocephalous churches. However, this is not necessarily a reflection of its influence.
In fact, the Orthodox church is a complex and rich federation of patriarchal churches. Each of the 145 eparchies is led by a synod of bishops. The president of the synod is known as a Metropolitan, Archbishop, or Catholicos.
Many of the eparchies are organized into exarchates. Some, such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, are large and powerful. Others, such as the Latvian Orthodox Church, are relatively small.
Another important feature of the Orthodox church is its mystical vision of God. It believes that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. This means that the Orthodox church treats the Eucharist more seriously than some other churches.
In addition to its mystical vision, the Orthodox church also has a rich history. One source of this is the New Testament, which contains sacred teachings about Jesus Christ.
Russian Orthodox Christians have long suffered from pogroms and religious persecution. This is reflected in the historical record of the Church of Russia.
In the fifteenth century, a “Judaising” movement swept through Russia. Jews were forced to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. Many riots erupted after the conversion.
The early Christian community took a strong stand against Jews. The Roman Catholic Church had more tolerant views. However, this was not always the case. There was also a period in which the Church was totally submissive to the state.
Russian Orthodox Christians, on the other hand, were not immune to anti-Semitic attitudes. Their clergy often included anti-Jewish diatribes in their sermons. These were followed by massacres in the later centuries.
Despite this, the Russian Orthodox Church has not done anything to change its stance on the issue of anti-Semitism. They have tried to refute the accusations of “worldwide conspiracy” and ritual sacrifices.
The history of Russian anti-Semitism has many parallels with that of Western Europe. The difference is that the Russian Church was less active in measures against Jews than the Byzantine and the Roman Catholic churches.