Diocese of Smolensk and Vyazma

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Diocese Smolensk and Vyazma (Russian: Смоленская и Вяземская епархия) is an eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church with its center in Smolensk. The city cathedral is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Christianity began to spread at the Smolensk land shortly after the baptism of Kiev [1]. According to the Chronicle, "in the summer of 6498 in Smolensk, Vladimir ideal land and customs baptize all the earth." The first city in the principality to receive baptism, became Smolensk.

After the death of Yaroslav the Wise in 1054 Smolensk became the capital of an independent principality, became the inheritance of his son Yaroslav - Vyacheslav, then to his grandson, Vladimir Monomakh.

Smolensk was part Perejaslav-Khmelnitsky diocese until the grandson of Monomakh, Prince Rostislav Mstislavich Pious (1128-1158) is not to obtain for self-bishop of Smolensk. The agreement between him and the first bishop became known as the "charters Rostislav". Smolensk bishopric received from Prince substantial income, land ownership. At Smolensk land in the 12th and 13th centuries unfolded the activities of many prominent preachers and writers of the Church. A clear their name in the galaxy is, the name of the holy St. Abraham of Smolensk. [2]

In 1415-1419 and 1458-1514 he served in the canonical jurisdiction of the metropolitans of Kiev-Litovsk.

On January 26, 1539 - Archdiocese, from 1681 to 1728 years - Metropolis.

During the Soviet period, was known process "Smolensk business" in 1922, in which, for trying to stop the seizure of church property from the Assumption Cathedral of Smolensk, not subjected to looting, even during the invasion of Napoleon, had attracted 45 people, 25 of whom were imprisoned, 5 - shot. By 2008, there were 242 known name Smolensk diocese priests, innocent victims of persecution.

In 1941-1943 Smolensk diocese included the Smolensk and Bryansk and was a member of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. Ruling bishop was Bishop of Smolensk and Bryansk, Stefan (Sevbo). After the liberation of Smolensk region from the Germans in 1943-1944,., Smolensk diocese headed by Archbishop Kalinin (Tver) Basil (Ratmirovo), which bore the title "Kalinin and Smolensk."

From 1984 to 2008, during the administration of Metropolitan Kirill (Gundyaev) (now Patriarch Kirill) in the Diocese of Smolensk and Kaliningrad temple was built 143, 65 recovered.

Decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on March 31, 2009 on the territory of the Kaliningrad region is formed Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. The ruling bishop of the newly formed Diocese received the title of "Kaliningrad and the Baltic".