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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.Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus′ to convert to Christianity, either in 945 or 957.is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches, in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox patriarchates.

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This occurred five years prior to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and, unintentionally, signified the beginning of an effectively independent church structure in the Moscow (North-Eastern Russian) part of the Russian Church.

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'.

The Metropolitan's residence was originally located in Kiev itself, the capital of the medieval Rus' state.

The spot where he reportedly erected a cross is now marked by St. By the end of the first millennium AD, eastern Slavic lands started to come under the cultural influence of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In 863–69, the Byzantine Greek monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, both from Greek Macedonia, translated parts of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic language for the first time, paving the way for the Christianization of the Slavs and Slavicized peoples of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Ukraine, and Southern Russia.

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