In 987 Prince Vladimir of Kiev refused to paganism and adopted the Orthodox faith. The following year, he gathered all the Russian folk on the banks of the Dnepr River, in the waters of which the Byzantine priests baptized them. Since that time Orthodox Christianity became the state religion in Russia.
During the reign of Prince Vladimir the Christianity values was supported by the state power. Kiev Prince assisted device of hospitals and almshouses, cared for the subsistence of the poor. The state support was given to the construction and decoration of temples, established the first school, and began the preparation of the Russian clergy.
A new stage in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church has begun after a 70-year period of the imposing of atheism on in the country. New temples has begun to open, restored and built. More and more people have turned to God, the Bible and church literature became accessible; spiritual Christian programs have begun to appear on television.
Cathedral Chris Savior in Moscow, Russia
Christianity was not the first major world religion to attain official status within the territory of what is today the Russian Federation. It was preceded by Judaism adopted by the Turkic-speaking Khazars in the late 8th-early 9th century, and by Islam, which became the dominant religion of the Volga Bulgars – who are believed to have played an important role in the ethno-genesis of the Kazan Tatars – in the early 10th century.
Russia today purportedly has the largest number of Muslims of any “European” country (estimated range between 14 and 22 million), and this segment of the population is growing rapidly, due both to high birthrates among groups originating in the North Caucasus and immigration of Muslim ethnic groups from the “Near Abroad”.
Today’s Russia’s religious minorities include: 9-28 million Muslims; as many as 2.5 million Old Believers; 1.5-2 million Buddhists; 500,000 to 1.5 million Catholics; as many as million Protestants; 250,000 to 2 million Jews; and many pagan faiths including a large Shaman population, many of whom are based around Lake Baikal and hold regular festivals there. The number of Orthodox Christians is estimated at between 45 and 80 percent of the population (65 to 115 million).