July 17, 2008

Orthodoxy and Russia

Vladimir began his rule over the Kievan Rus as a cruel tyrant and tireless playboy, BUT... he was wise enough to recognize that a common faith could give his country unity.

On this day in 977, he sent messengers to investigate the four great faiths of the civilized world.

The messengers did not like Islam and Judaism with their dietary restrictions and smells. Roman Catholicism they said was 'too simple'. But his messengers sold him with their report of Byzantium Eastern Orthodoxy.

Speaking of the worship in Constantinople's Hagia Sophia, they said, "We did not know whether we were in heaven or on earth ... never shall we be able to forget so great a beauty."

Vladimir embraced Orthodoxy and wed the Byzantine emperor's sister Anna. Thus what was to become Imperial Russia took Orthodoxy as their faith, and Christianity spread.
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