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In the third century AD under the Roman Empire a military commander for Rome stood up against the Emperors persecutions of Christians and publicly condemned him The man was ordered to be tortured then killed and he valiantly accepted this punishment This martyrs bravery and determination to stay the course led many including the Empress to the Christian faith Just as the above-mentioned Saint George was liberated from his tortures and entered the kingdom of heaven likewise sixteen centuries later the Russian Orthodox Church would defiantly hold against a persecuting government and would ultimately be liberated from the Soviet Union Russia since its birth from Byzantium has a long-standing history of conflict between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities Perhaps the largest conflict that affected the Russian Orthodox Church was Peter Is abolishment of the Russian Patriarchate and the introduction of the Holy Synod in its place in hopes of Westernizing Russia With the abolishment of the patriarchate Russia broke with all of her sister Orthodox Churches and all of church history Peter had introduced a foreign - wholly heterodox - and non-canonical concept into the Russian Orthodox Church Years later after the Provisional Government was setup and Nicholas II had abdicated the Church convened a council reestablished the patriarchate and elected Tikhon of Moscow as the new Patriarch By the time the Bolsheviks took power of the government the Russian Orthodox Church had rectified the one glaring problem facing it Yet the Church faced a new problem a militant atheistic regime that would create anti-religious policies Fortunately for the Church these policies would bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union as each failed policy was stacked on top of its predecessor Soon after the Russian revolutions began in 1917 the government realized that it must persecute religious entities for two main reasons First few institutions have been as diametrically opposed as the Soviet government and the Russian Orthodox Church The Soviets were decidedly atheistic
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