The early rudiments of Christianity among the Ossetians can be traced down to the 1st century, the time when St. Andrew the Apostle evangelized in Scythia, the homeland of their ancestors. The large-scale missionary activity among the Alanians started in the 10th century under Nicolas the Mystic, patriarch of Constantinople. This was favored by Alania's close ties with the Byzantine Empire and the Empire's interest in a strong ally in the Caucasus. It is generally accepted that Christianizing of Alanians dates back to the second patriarchate of Nicolas the Mystic (912-925).
Christianizing of Alania played a positive role in the development and strengthening of Alanian statehood. Owing to Christianity, Ossetians received a written language based on the Greek alphabet. Christianizing was performed in the waters of the Bolshoi Zelenchuk River that runs along the oldest temples of the Alanian Diocese, one of which still keeps an ancient Alanian baptismal font.
The postage stamp provides an image of the Mourning Angel sculpture by Soslanbek Yedziev; this is one of the symbols of Christianity, which represents spirituality and divinity on the Earth, and the angel's wings symbolize abundant life and protection.
In addition to the issue of the postage stamp, JSC Marka produced First Day Covers and special cancels for Moscow and Vladikavkaz.
Design Artist: S. Kapranov.
Face value: 50 rubles.
Stamp size: 30×42 mm, sheet size: 170×150 mm.
Emission form: a sheet with formatted margins with 15 (5×3) stamps.
Quantity: 120 thousand stamps (8 thousand sheets).