The History of Russian Christianity: Christian History Timeline

General World History

Before 1000

800 Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor

935 Wang Chien establishes central monarchy in China

954–55 Norman invasions of France

963–1025 Basil II is Byzantine emperor

981 Eric the Red visits Greenland

988 Vikings attack England


1000 Leif Ericsson reaches America

1054 The Great Separation between Eastern and Western Churches takes place, and largely remains to this day

1066 The Normans conquer England

1071 Byzantine Empire is defeated by Turks at Manzikert

1096–99 First Crusade: to Jerusalem


1100–1135 The first of the Henrys rules in England

1113–1115 Bernard joins the Christian Order, becomes first abbot of Clairvaux

1170 Thomas Becket is murdered

1182–1226 St. Francis of Assisi lives

1187 Saladin captures Jerusalem


1200 Islam begins to replace Indian religions

1215 King John signs Magna Carta

1228—29 Sixth Crusade: Jerusalem regained

1244–1917 Jerusalem in Muslim hands

1260–94 Kublai Khan is emperor of China

1270 Eighth Crusade: to Tunis

1271–95 Marco Polo journeys to China

1273 Rise of Hapsburg family begins

1274 Thomas Aquinas dies

1275 The earliest recorded human dissection takes place

1280–1368 Yuan Dynasty rules China


1305–76 Popes reside at Avignon

1327 Aztecs establish Mexico City

1328–1384 John Wycliffe lives

1348–1453 Hundred Years’ War

1348–50 Black Death ravages Europe

1368–1644 Ming Dynasty in China

1378–1417 The Great schism divides the papacy


1415 Jan Hus is martyred

1420–33 Hussite Wars

1431 Joan of Arc burned

1479–1516 Ferdinand and Isabella rule in Spain

1485–1509 Henry VII, the first Tudor king of

1492–1504 Christopher Columbus discovers America, recrosses Atlantic four times

1490 The first orphanages are established in Italy and Holland


1500 In Europe, the end of the Early and beginning of the High Renaissance

1522 Martin Luther finished translating the New Testament into German

1525 William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament into English is printed at Wurms

1555 Michelangelo sculpts the Pieta, and tobacco is brought to America for the first time

1577 Francis Drake embarks on voyage around the world via Cape Horn




1861—65 U.S. Civil War


1914–18 World War I

1940–45 World War II

1955 Six of the United States officially recognize the Eastern Orthodox Church as a major faith, and several other states soon follow suit

1961 The “Reform Baptists” separate frm the AUCECB to form the “underground” Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches (curches unregistered with the government and thus illegal); many of them are imprisoned and martyred

1965–75 The Vietnam War

1973–75 The Watergate break-ins, indictments, and convictions

1978 U.S. and the People’s Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations

USSR History

Before 1000

c. 50–60 St. Andrew allegedly does mission work in Ukraine and, standing on the future site of Kiev, predicts that a great Christian city will one day exist there

860–65 With Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Christian missions to the Slavic nations begin in earnest; Cyril establishes Cyrillic alphabet that is still used by Eastern Slavs today

c. 864 Under the auspices of Rus’ Prince Askold and Patriarch Photius, the first baptism in Rus’-Ukraine

869 Eighth Ecumenical Council (in Constantinople)

955 Princess Olga, the queen of Kievan Rus’, is baptized at Constantinople

988–991 Mass baptism takes places at Kiev, Grand Prince Vladimir makes Orthodox Christianity the national religion of Rus’—which it remained until 1917


1019 Yaroslav receives a metropolitan appointed by the Patriarch of Constantinople; this Rus’-Byzantium link continues for nearly 400 years

1025 The beautiful St. Sophia Cathedral is constructed in Kiev

1037 The Russian Orthodox Church comes under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople


1113 The Church of St. Nicholas, one of the first “onion-domed churches,” is built at Novgorod


1204 Eastern Christendom’s center, Constantinople, falls to Western Christendom’s Crusaders

1206–26 Temujin is proclaimed Gengis Khan, rules the Mongols

1220—21 Mongols invade India

1237–40 Mongols invade and destroy Kiev

1250 Hats come into fashion, and goose quills are used for writing

1261 Easterners retake Constantinople


1325 The metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church is transferred to Moscow

1326 Moscow becomes capital of Russia, and official center of Russian Orthodox Church

1363 Timur the Lame (Tamerlaine) begins his conquest of Asia

1392 Sergius of Radonezh, the patron saint of Russia, dies

1396 Stephen, a Russian Orthodox bishop and famous missionary, dies


1431–49 The Mongols’ domination of Russia comes to an end

1448 See of Moscow is raised to independent status

1450 Moscow emerges as “The Third Rome,” claiming to have succeeded Rome and Constantinople as the center of the Orthodox Church; Russian Orthodoxy remains virtually untouched by the Renaissance and Reformation


1551 The historic Council of Moscow indicates the declining influence of the patriarchate of Constantinople and the rising influence of Moscow

1589–1605 In Moscow, Iov serves as the first patriarch of the new Russian Orthodox Patriarchate

1596 The Orthodox in Poland unite with Rome, forming what is known as the Uniate Church


1629 Cyril Lucano, the patriarch of Constantinople, makes a Calvinist confession of faith

1642–58 Patriarch Nikon tries to reform the Russian Orthodox Church; a schism results

1685 Moscow Theological Academy is founded

1690–1700 Patriarch Adrian is Russian Orthodoxy’s last patriarch until 20th century


1721 Peter the Great abolishes the Moscow Patriarchate, establishes the Holy Synod as a state institution to carry out church reforms

1783 Potemkin captures Crimea for Russia

1794 Russian Orthodox missionaries begin work in Alaska with fur traders and Indians


1809 St. Petersburg Theological Academy is founded

1848 Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto

1856–1876 Translation of the entire Bible into vernacular Russian

1867 A German Baptist from Lithuania administers the first Baptist baptism in Russia

1867 Russia sells Alaska to the U.S.

1869 The first Russian Baptist Church is established

1870 Bishop Innocent, former missionary to Alaska, founds the Orthodox Missionary Society

1880 Russian Orthodox leaders begin a persecution of all non-Orthodox sects and churches

1884 First Congress of Russian Baptists

1891 Russian Orthodox leaders intensify their persecution of the non-Orthodox, making it difficult for them to find employment or living quarters, and taking their children to indoctrinate them in the Orthodox faith; non-Orthodox are tried in Orthodox courts, not civil ones

1894 The Russian Orthodox Church forbids Baptists to assemble


1904–07 Russo-Japanese War

1917 The Russian Revolution; Moscow Patriarchate is re-established

1918–28 Lenin separates church and state and proclaims religious freedom; the Baptists begin a pastoral school in Moscow, and a publishing house; Russian Baptists increase to about two million

1919 The American Ukrainian Orthodox Church is organized

1922 USSR is formed

1929–1939 Stalin’s “Age of Terror”; most Russian Christians suffer greatly under this state-sponsored tyranny; the worst years are ’34–38

1943 Desiring to rally the Russian people in the face of Hitler [Hitler ] ’s armies, Stalin re-establishes the Russian Orthodox Church

1944 Soviet government orgainzes the all-Union Council of Evangelical Christians—Baptists; but Soviet control of the AUCECB makes numerous Christians oppose it

1959–64 Khruschev oversees a great persecution of Christians, though not so murderous as Stalin’s

1960 The USSR makes its restrictive statutes upon the AUCECB ever more stringent

1961 Churches in the USSR join World Council of Churches

1974–75 For his writings against Soviet repression, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is exiled, writes The Gulag Archipelago, Vols. One and Two

1986 Gorbachev initiates policy of glasnost, or “openness,” and Soviets’ freedom of religions increases somewhat

1988 Millenial anniversary of Christianity in the USSR

Kievan Rulers

978–1015 Vladimir I rules Keivan Rus’

1019–54 Yaroslav “the Wise” rules Rus’

1113–1125 Vladimir Monomach rules in Rus’

1125–1140 Other members of Vladimir’s dynasty continue to rule a constantly sub-dividing Rus’

1325–1341 Ivan I rules in Moscow

1359–1389 Dmitri Donskoy rules in Moscow

1425–1462 Vasili II rules in Moscow

1462–1505 Ivan III “the Great” rules Russia

1547–1584 Ivan IV “the Terrible” rules Russia

1645–1676 Alexei rules Russia

1721–1725 Peter “the Great” is emperor of Russia

1762–96 Catherine II is empress of Russia

1801–25 Alexander I is tsar of Russia

1894–1917 Nicholas II rules Russia

1920–24 Lenin rules USSR

1924–53 Josef Stalin

1953–64 Nikita Khruschev

1964–80 Leonid Brezhnev

1980–85 Kosygin and Andropov

1985—?? Mikhail Gorbachev

By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #18 in 1988]

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