Introduction In 1652, Patriarch Nikon (1605–1681) of the Russian Orthodox Church introduced a number of ritual and textual innovations to impose uniformity between Russian and Greek Orthodox practices. Nikon, having noticed discrepancies between Russian and Greek rites and texts, ordered an adjustment of the Russian rites to the Greek ones of his time. Once these innovations were carried out, they who acted contrary to them were suppressed by state power.  The Nikonian Reforms By the middle of the 17th century Russian Church officials, including Patriarch Nikon had noticed discrepancies between contemporary Russian and Greek rites. The conclusion was made that the Russian Orthodox Church had, as a result of errors of incompetent copyists, developed rites and missal texts of its own that had significantly deviated from the Greek originals. Thus, the Russian Orthodox Church had become dissonant from the other Orthodox churches. Nikon, supported by Tsar Alexis I (1629-1676), executed some preliminary liturgical reforms. In 1652, he convened a synod and exhorted the clergy on the need to compare Russian typikon, Euchologion, and other liturgical books with their Greek counterparts. Monasteries from all over Russia were requested to send examples to Moscow in order to subject them to a comparative analysis. Such a task would have taken many years of conscientious research and would have been unlikely to give an unambiguous result, given the complex development of the Russian liturgical texts over the past centuries and complete lack of textual historigraphic techniques at the time: Having observed some discrepancies between the Russian and contemporary Greek rites and missal texts, patriarch Nikon ordered an adjustment of the Russian rites and texts to correspond to the Greek, without summoning a church council or consulting any Russian ecclesiastic authority. As research in the history of liturgic texts at that time was nearly nonexistent, no one could explain to him that these discrepancies were not necessarily the result of Russian errors of arbitrary textual revisions (...). – Zenkovsky S.A. Russia’s Old Believers, 1970, 1995, 9 A second synod was convened under locum tenens Pitirim of Krutitsy in 1666, which included the Patriarchs of Antioch and of Alexandria and many bishops to Moscow. It is alleged by Old Believer historians that the visiting patriarchs each received both 20,000 roubles in gold and furs for their participation. This council officially established the reforms and anathemized both all those against the reforms and the old Russian books and rites themselves. A side effect of condemning the past of the Russian Orthodox Church and her traditions was a weaking of the messianic theory about Moscow as the Third Rome. Instead of being the guardian of Orthodox faith, Russia seemed to be an accumulation of serious liturgical mistakes. Nevertheless, both Patriarch and Tsar were anxious to carry out their reforms, although their endeavours may have been as much or more politically motivated as religious, although scenarious explaining this motive tend to make extravagant claims involving attempts to revive the Byzantine Empire and Jesuit meddling. In any case, once the reforms were imposed, they were enforced by the might of the state and protest against them was restricted to the small groups that became known as the Old Believers.