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Russian Orthodox Church
(Moscow Patriarchate)
Russian: Ру́сская правосла́вная це́рковь
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Moscow, Russia).jpg
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow
Russian: Храм Христа Спасителя [Khram Khrista Spasitelya]
Abbreviation ROC
Classification Eastern Orthodox Church
Orientation Russian Orthodoxy
Scripture Septuagint, New Testament
Theology Eastern Orthodox theology
Primate Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
Bishops 368
Clergy 35,171 priests + 4,816 deacons (2016)
Parishes 34,764 (2016)
Monasteries 926 (455 male monasteries and 471 convents) (2016)
Language Church Slavonic, local languages
Liturgy Byzantine Rite
Headquarters Danilov Monastery, Moscow, Russia
55°42′40″N 37°37′45″E / 55.71111°N 37.62917°E / 55.71111; 37.62917
Founder Apostle Andrew (legendary),
Vladimir the Great "Baptism of Rus'" in 988
Metropolitan Michael I of Kiev
Independence 1448, de facto
Recognition 1589, by Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
1593, by Pan-Orthodox Synod of Patriarchs at Constantinople
Separations Old Believers (mid-17th century)
Catacomb Church (1925)
True Russian Orthodox Church (2007; very small)
Members 164.1 million

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as its primate, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.

The 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.

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: the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Metropolis of Bessarabia, and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, respectively. It also exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China. The ROC branches in Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine since the 1990s enjoy various degrees of self-government, albeit short of the status of formal ecclesiastical autonomy.

The ROC should not be confused with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), another autocephalous Orthodox church (since 1970, but not universally recognised in this status and viewed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as a branch of the ROC), that traces its existence in North America to the time of the Russian missionaries in Alaska (then part of the Russian Empire) in the late 18th century. The ROC should also not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, or ROCOR), headquartered in the United States. The ROCOR was instituted in the 1920s by Russian communities outside then Communist Russia, which refused to recognize the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate then de facto headed by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky. The two churches reconciled on May 17, 2007; the ROCOR is now a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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