Mercy and righteousness formed an important part of Russian identity since ancient times. The adoption of Christianity put the charity in Russia on a higher level giving primarily systemic and ideological justification to it. It is proved by the theory of "Holy Russia", which appeared in the 16th century; one of its postulates is the following: in order to achieve the Kingdom of God, one must constantly do good to wretched and impoverished people in this world. However, the development of charity in Russia cannot be completely attributed to the Orthodox Church; the church only used features of the people, which we know as "Russian", and it does not matter that its sufficient part was not Slavic. Rather harsh climatic conditions, boundless space, raids of hostile tribes pushed it to a form of common living known as "Verv".