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They dared not even give their names outside their close family circle.They did not want to attract unwanted attention from unrelated males.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.

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The spot where he reportedly erected a cross is now marked by St. By the end of the first millennium AD, eastern Slavic lands started to come under the cultural influence of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In 863–69, the Byzantine Greek monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, both from Greek Macedonia, translated parts of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic language for the first time, paving the way for the Christianization of the Slavs and Slavicized peoples of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Southern Russia.

The Christian community that developed into what is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church is traditionally said to have been founded by the Apostle Andrew, who is thought to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea.

According to one of the legends, Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city.

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 USSR, 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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