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Events and Services - This Week
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
In the year 863 two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, set out from Constantinople, one of the five centers of the Church, to preach the Gospel of Christ to the Slavic peoples. The Slavic language had not been written down until the two devised an alphabet and translated the Bible and Liturgy. As a result of their work churches began to spring up in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia.
By 945 there was a small church in Kiev, the capital of the nation of Rus. The ruler, Prince Vladimir, sent emissaries to Constantinople and received their report: We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere on earth... Only this we know, that God dwells there among men. In 988 Prince Vladimir led his people down to the Dnieper river to be baptized. Russia embraced the Orthodox Faith and the Russian Orthodox Church was established.
From its beginning the Church was inseparably linked with the history and culture of Russia and in troubled times served as a patriotic rallying point for the Russian people. Throughout the centuries the Church has been dealt both prosperity and adversity. By far the most devastating time came with the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917. Upon coming to power, the Soviet government persecuted Christians, destroyed thousands of churches and imposed control over the the administration of the Church. In 1920, a significant number of Russian hierarchs under the leadership of Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev, pastors and faithful left Russia, preferring exile to subjugation by an atheistic state.
In the same year, Patriarch Tikhon, the last free Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, issued a decree (Ukaze 362, Nov. 20, 1920) which mandated that the Highest Church Administration in exile should continue to exist until such time as the Russian Church could freely administer itself. It is this Patriarchal Ukaz on which the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia bases Her existence.
Our parish belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), whose parishes are scattered throughout the world, and which is currently under the spiritual guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion.
In 1946, the membership of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the United States consisted of former members of the Russian Metropolia, which since 1971 has been known as the Orthodox Church in America. The separation took place after the fateful Cleveland Sobor (Council) of 1946 which decided to recognize the Patriarch of Moscow as its spiritual head.
On May 17, 2007, on the day of the Ascension of Our Lord, the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church signed the Act of Canonical Communion.
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Address of our Cathedral
- 4001 17th St. N.W.,
- Washington, D.C., 20011
Phone (202) 726-3000
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