Russian Religion at the Turn of the Century

 The official religion of the Russian Empire (1721-1917) at the time was Russian Orthodox Christianity. Minority religions included Roman Catholic, Islam, Protestant, and Judaism. The Tsar was technically its head, referred to as Supreme Defender of the Church. However, he had no say in its ecclesiastical teachings, as that was the job of the Holy Synod. The leader of which, the Over Procurator of the Holy Synod, held ultimate power in matter regarding the actual teachings of the church. o The heads of the church included three Metropolitans (Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Moscow), fourteen archbishops, and fifty bishops throughout the empire. They all went through the monastic teachings/training, and were celibate. Members of the parochial clergy had to be married. o The Most Holy Governing Synod was the leading body of the church o Patriarchate/patriarchs o Metropolitans o icons

The Russian Orthodox Church played a major role in the history of Russia dating back centuries. It supported serfdom and monarchism. It was a source of anti-Semitism, including the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Russian church contributed to the pogroms that slaughtered Jews and sent Jews fleeing westward.

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