Defender of the Faith vs. an antichrist
It is wrong to portray Petrine & post-Petrine Russian Orthodox
Church as a submissive organ of the state. The Tsars, whether Peter
or Saint Nicholas, relied on the Church just as much as the Church
relied on the state.
The Church in pre-Revolutionary Russia had many administrative duties
such as keeping vital statistics. All books on religion had to pass
through the Church's censors. The Church's influence on moral issues
such as sexual relations remained dominant and secular authorities to
persecute political opponents used Church law.
Peter the Great will also be remembered for building the last great
monastic complex in Russia & transferring St' Alexander's remains to
St. Petersburg, thus establishing another holiday to commemorate this
interesting 13 th century contemplative & warrior.
Peter was a paradox - not a satanist.