Chapter Seven On the Faith

  1. The primary and predominant Faith in the Russian Empire is the Christian Orthodox Catholic Faith of the Eastern Confession.
  2. The Emperor who occupies the Throne of All the Russias cannot profess any Faith other than the Orthodox.
  3. The Emperor, as a Christian Sovereign, is the Supreme Defender and Guardian of the dogmas of the predominant Faith and is the Keeper of the purity of the Faith and all good order within the Holy Church.
  4. In the administration of the Church, Sovereign Power acts through the Most Holy Governing Synod, which It has instituted.
  5. All native and naturalized subjects of the Russian Empire who do not belong to the predominant Church, as well as foreigners working or temporarily residing in Russia, are everywhere free to observe their own faith and worship in accordance with its rites.
  6. Freedom of religion is granted not only to Christians of foreign denominations, but also to Jews, Muslims and heathens; so that all peoples residing in Russia may glorify Almighty God in various tongues according to the laws and confessions of their ancestors, blessing the reign of Russian Monarchs and beseeching the Creator of the universe to increase the (nation's) well-being and to strengthen the might of the Empire.
  7. Church matters of foreign Christian denominations and of other confessions in the Russian Empire are managed by their spiritual leaders and by administrators specifically designated by the Supreme Power.

Explanatory Note

The rules for safeguarding religious tolerance and its limitations are described in detail in the Charters of the different confessions.

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