What was the significance of the Orthodox Christian Church in the Byzantine Empire and Russia?
When Constantine took over the Roman Empire he moved the capital from Rome to Byzantine, which he renamed after himself Constantinople. When he moved the political seat of the empire this caused a dramatic shift of power. In an age when there was very little separation between religion and government this also caused a shift in the power of the church. Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the empire and also wished to reallocate the power from Rome to Constantinople. The start of the split between the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church occurred primarily because of disagreements in the church councils, which began under the rule of Constantine. While the East and West were not officially split until 1054 (Great Schism) they were split on doctrine long before this. Christianity of the Eastern Orthodox doctrine began to spread east and north into Russia.