In 863 the Slavic ruler of Moravia (part of today's Czech Republic) wanted greater political freedom from Catholic Christians to his west. He asked the Roman emperor in Constantinople to send him some Orthodox Christian leaders willing to teach Christianity to his subjects in their own language. Happy to extend his own influence, the emperor sent him two brothers, Cyril (b. 827) and Methodius (b. 825), who were native Slavic speakers. They created a Slavic alphabet and translated the Bible and Church liturgy into what came to be called Old Church Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian). Thousands of Moravians came to appreciate hearing the Good News and worshiping in their own language.