The first pogrom in Ancient Rus took place as early as 1113, when the Jewish quarter in Kiev was destroyed.
The further development of the Russian state reproduced the model of relations between Jews and Christians characteristic of both Kievan Rus and Western Europe: with its insecure social and economic standing, the Jewish community remained to a greater or lesser extent a persecuted ethnic and religious minority.
For this reason we prefer to use the wider term evrei, even though this term does not remove a whole series of difficulties when considering the complexities of Judeo-Christian relations (4).
Furthermore, before analysing contemporary attitudes of the Russian Orthodox Church to Jews and Judaism we must examine the religious and historical circumstances which have determined the current situation.
Jewish religious influence was also significant: it is no accident that in the famous History of the Baptism of Rus there is an account of how Prince Vladimir came to choose the future monotheistic state religion to replace old pagan beliefs, with one of the alternatives being Judaism.
Although the question of the provenance and historical reliability of the History remains unanswered to this day (7), there is no doubt that in Kievan Rus a sharp polemic between Christians and Jews was already in its early stages: there are strong anti-Jewish passages in the Speeches of a Philosopher contained in the History.
He encouraged me to go back to church and spend time with Christian friends because he knew it would help me. I just am happy with my decision, and believe that it is not a sin and God will bless my marriage and aid me through the difficulties. I am a Christian woman; I love Jesus and my heart follows Him.
Western academic research, in its analysis of antisemitism, traditionally addresses three main sections of medieval Christian society, namely the masses, the Church and the state, and analyses them according to their relationship to the Jewish community.
Besides, it’s not like both parties being Christian ensures a wonderful marriage.
Christian couples get divorced as often as anyone else.
The Jewish-Orthodox relationship dates back to the founding of the Russian state when in the ninth and tenth centuries Jews from Western Europe and Khazars professing the Jewish religion settled on the territory of Kievan Russia (Kievan Rus).
It appears that the Jewish community was strong both socially and economically: Kievan Jews studied in the famous Jewish educational insitutions of Europe and Kiev was a leading trading centre between East and West, with trade being conducted mainly by Jews and Italians (6).