In the history of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church played an important schism XVII century.Its effects are reflected in the riots, religious persecution, creating countless martyrs.This powerful on the scale and significance of the religious-political movement had its own background, which is not without learning to understand the causes of this great Russian drama.First of all, even though this event is related to the sphere of religious rituals and, mainly, about the liturgy, he had other reasons.We can also highlight the role of Tsar Alexei quietest and Patriarch Nikon, thanks to which the political conditions have become a driving force of the split.It should be noted that the reasons for the Church in this situation played a secondary role.
So, with the ascent to the throne in the second Romanov Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, nicknamed quietest, imperial appetites of Moscow increased.Monarch cherished ambitions to unite under his wing all the Orthodox peoples in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.But after the capture and annexation of the Left-Bank Ukraine suddenly there was a problem ceremonial character.Most believers conquered lands baptized three fingers, as has been done in Greece and throughout the Orthodox world, and the two Russian cross.The aspirations of the king to establish a "Third Rome" demanded a single rite.Because of this situation, there were two ways out: to impose Russian conquest of the public ceremonies, or make your own believers confess Christ in a new way.Therefore schism - a consequence of incompetent policies of the authorities to introduce a uniform orthodoxy.
Since imposing anything and without distracting the provinces was dangerous, the king decided to take "for his."And he did it tough, "police" measures.In 1653 he was elected a year ago in the Russian Patriarch Nikon, Metropolitan sent a decree, in which the most categorical manner prescribed baptized three fingers and put four prostrations instead of sixteen at the prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian.He also replaced monophonic to polyphonic singing and allowed priests to proclaim the preaching of his own.Thus, the reform Nikon and the schism is inextricably linked to each other.
Since innovations imposed "from above", without any explanation or belief in the correctness of such measures, the decree met fierce resistance to the most, and in all strata of the population.Even some of the nobles and nobles fought for the retrogression of the ancient piety.Conductors made opposition and representatives of the clergy, especially archpriests Daniel and Habakkuk.But the king and the patriarch remained steadfast.Even the fact that in 1658, Nikon fell into disfavor, and in 1666 was deposed from the rank of the patriarch, did not affect all the widening schism: in 1667 Great Moscow Cathedral anathematized those who refused to accept the new rites, and continued "blaspheme against the Church, "accusing her of apostasy.
first manifestation of discontent among the broad masses of the population was Solovetsky Monastery Uprising (1667-1676).It ended with the massacre of the discontented.The schism deepened and shirilsya.Many families fleeing persecution and not wanting to betray his faith, fled to the outskirts of the Russian kingdom - in the marshes of the Danube, to the north, in the Volga region and Siberia, spreading the word about the occurrence of the last times, and the kingdom of the Antichrist, which are now the king and the patriarch.Death Alexei quietest did not change the situation.Sophia only toughened prosecution disobedient Old Believers.
church schism found its manifestation in the worst mass self-immolation - the so-called "burnt-out".Desperate people took their own lives in order not to betray the faith.These suicides continued throughout the XVIII-XIX centuries.End harassment laid secular power: the decree of Nicholas II «On religious tolerance," which guaranteed freedom of religion conservatives.And in 1929, the Holy Synod adopted a resolution that "old Russian rites are also salutary."