They were opposed by the influential Joseph of Volotsk, who defended ecclesiastical ownership of land and property.
The sovereign's position fluctuated, but eventually he threw his support to Joseph.
The Christian community that developed into what is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church is traditionally said to have been founded by the Apostle Andrew, who is thought to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea.
According to one of the legends, Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city.
It also exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China.
is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches, in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox patriarchates.
The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'.
New sects sprang up, some of which showed a tendency to revert to Mosaic law: for instance, the archpriest Aleksei converted to Judaism after meeting a certain Zechariah the Jew.
In the 1540s, Metropolitan Macarius codified Russian hagiography and convened a number of church synods, which culminated in the Hundred Chapter Council of 1551.
There is evidence that the first Christian bishop was sent to Novgorod from Constantinople either by Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, c. By the mid-10th century, there was already a Christian community among Kievan nobility, under the leadership of Byzantine Greek priests, although paganism remained the dominant religion.