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Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival and life of the Russian state.
Despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were generally tolerant and even granted tax exemption to the church.
It also exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China.
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; the Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
Such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Mongol rule, and to expand both economically and spiritually.
The Trinity monastery north of Moscow founded by Sergius of Radonezh became the setting for the flourishing of spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others.