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THE BYZANTINE STATE BEGUN FLOURISHING
The kingdom of Michael the Third was characterized by significant military success against the Arabs in Asia Minor and great progress in culture and economy.
Since the Byzantines have established their dominion in Asia Minor, they tried to face the Slavic problem mainly by turning the Slavs into Christians. The Slavs of Moravia, the Russians and the Bulgarians became Christians during this period. During this period there was also a great conflict between the two churches (of Rome and Constantinople) over the Slavic world. They were both interested in turning the Slavs into Christians and keep them under their influence. These clashing interests led to the first schism between the two churches (867).
The Christianization of the Slavs:
The leader of the Slavs of Moravia asked for missionaries to preach in Moravia. The Byzantines sent a team with two intellectuals from Salonica Cyril who knew the Slavonic language and his brother Methodius. They invented a Slavonic alphabet and they translated the Holy Bible into the Slavonic language. Both the mass and the preaching were held in the Slavonic language. Even though the Slavonic church came later under the influence of the Church of Rome the Byzantine culture threw deep roots and influenced the Slavic national literature.
The Christianization of the Russians
After an unsuccessful attack against Constantinople Byzantine missionaries were sent to the Russians and begun their conversion to Christianity.
The Christianization of the Bulgarians.
The Bulgarians asked of the Church of Rome to send missionaries in Bulgaria. The Byzantines didn’t allow the priests to reach Bulgaria by blockading the Bulgarian state by land and sea. The Bulgarian leader Boris was forced to accept the Christianization of his state by the church of Constantinople. When however a Byzantine bishop was put in charge of the Bulgarian church Boris turned towards the Church of Rome. The patriarch faced this new interference of the Church of Rome and accused Rome for worshiping matters and especially for the doctrine of the filioque. Finally after a Synod held in Constantinople the Bulgarian church was brought under the jurisdiction of the church of Constantinople.