REligion in the Byzantine Empire

Emperors of the Byzantine Empire ruled as absolute monarchs. The Emperors considered themselves to be the representatives of Christ on earth. 

Religious ritual was a very important part of Byzantine life.  One of the most serious internal disputes within the empire took place between the 8th and 9th centuries over the use of icons in Christian worship.  During the controversy, countless works of arts were destroyed.  In 843 A.D., icon worship was restored and remained so until the collapse of the empire.