Orthodox Christianity made its appearance in the lands of the Golden Horde as early as the thirteenth century under the leadership of the diocese of Sarsk and Podolsk with the bishop’s residence located in the Horde’s capital Sarai. It wasn’t until the sixteenth century before a diocese was formed in the area of Kazan. The Diocese of Kazan was initially established on [[April 3]], 1555 by Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow, during the time of Ivan IV (the Terrible), as the diocese of Kazan and Sviyazhsk. The first ruling bishop was Bishop Gury (Rugotin), who had been the heguman ([[abbot]]) of the [[Monastery]] of Selizharov in Tver.
Bp. Gury was accompanied in his new assigned by [[Archimandrite]]s Varsonofy and Herman, with instructions to evangelize the inhabitants and not to compel baptism. Organizationally, the Kazan diocese was subordinated to the Moscow metropolitanate and joined as the third diocese with the metropolitanate of Moscow and the archdiocese of Novgorod.