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Her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus' officially a Christian state.

Isidore was in the same year removed from his position as an apostate and expelled from Moscow.

The Russian metropolitanate remained effectively vacant for the next few years due largely to the dominance of Uniates in Constantinople then.

Subsequently, there developed a theory in Moscow that saw Moscow as the Third Rome, the legitimate successor to Constantinople, and the Primate of the Moscow Church as head of all the Russian Church.

Meanwhile, the newly established in 1458 Russian Orthodox (initially Uniate) metropolitanate in Kiev (then in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and subsequently in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) continued under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical See until 1686, when it was transferred to the jurisdiction of Moscow.

The ROC, as well as the primate thereof, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient Patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

The official Christianization of Kievan Rus' widely seen as the birth of the ROC is believed to have occurred in 988 through the baptism of the Kievan prince Vladimir and his people by the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate whose constituent part the ROC remained for the next six centuries, while the Kievan see remained in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until 1686.

Despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were generally tolerant and even granted tax exemption to the Church.

Such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Tatar oppression, and to expand both economically and spiritually.

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 ROC currently claims its exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Christians, irrespective of their ethnic background, who reside in the former member republics of the Soviet Union, excluding Georgia and Armenia, although this claim is disputed in such countries as Estonia, Moldova and Ukraine and consequently parallel canonical Orthodox jurisdictions exist in those: Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and Metropolis of Bessarabia, respectively.

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