His baptism made Orthodox Christianity the official religion of Russia. Vladimir was a pagan at the beginning of his reign, which was at first devoted to consolidating his territories into a unified Russian state. In exchange for helping the Byzantine emperor Basil II suppress a rebellion, Vladimir was allowed to marry the emperor's sister, Anne, at which time he accepted Christianity. Allied to Byzantium by religious and family ties, Vladimir introduced Byzantine civilization into Russia by building churches, suppressing paganism, and making social reforms. Nonetheless, he remained open to Western influences, which are reflected in his legislation.