The Old Believers - who is this?

Today in Russia there are about 2 million of the Old Believers.There are entire villages inhabited by adherents of the old faith.Many live abroad: in the neighboring countries, Southern Europe, in English-speaking countries on the South American continent.Despite the small numbers, the modern Old Believers remain steadfast in their beliefs, avoid contact with nikoniantsami retain the traditions of their ancestors and strongly resist "Western influences".

Nikon reforms and the emergence of "splittism┬╗

different religious currents, which can be termed "staroobryadstvo" have a long and tragic history.In the mid-17th century, Patriarch Nikon, with the support of the king carried religious reform, whose task was to bring the process and some of the rites of worship in accordance with the "standards" adopted by the Church of Constantinople.The reforms were supposed to increase the prestige and the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state in the international arena.But not all innovations congregation perceived positively.The Old Believers - these are the people who found it "a book from the right" (editing of religious books), and the unification of the liturgical rank blasphemy.

What exactly was done in the framework of the reform?

Changes approved by church councils in 1656 and 1667 respectively, the unbelievers may seem insignificant.For example, it was edited "Creed": the kingdom of God were instructed to speak in the future tense, the text had been cleared of the LORD, and contrastive Union.In addition, the word "Jesus" now were told to write two "and" (in modern Greek pattern).Old Believers is not appreciated.As for worship, then Nikon has canceled the small prostrations ("throwing"), the traditional "dvuperstie" replaced "troeperstiem" and "purely" Hallelujah - "Tregub."Procession nikoniantsy began to hold against the sun.There have also been some changes in the rite of the Eucharist (communion).The reform also provoked a gradual change in the traditions of church music and iconography.

┬źDissenters", "Old Believers" and "conservatives": the difference

In fact, all these terms at different times designated by the same people.However, these names are not equal: each has a specific connotation.

Reformers-nikoniantsy, accusing their ideological opponents in the split of the Russian Orthodox Church used the term "schismatic."It is equated with the term "heretic" and was considered offensive.Adherents of traditional faith so did not call, they preferred the term "Ancient Orthodox Christians" or "conservatives.""Old Believers" - this is a compromise term, coined in the 19th century, secular authors.Believers themselves did not consider it exhaustive: as you know, faith is not limited to the rites.But it so happened that he was the most widespread.

should be noted that in some sources "Old Believers" call people who practice the pre-Christian religions (paganism).It is not right.The Old Believers - is, without a doubt, the Christians.

Old Believers in Russia: the fate of the movement

Since resentment of conservatives undermined the foundations of the state, and secular and ecclesiastical authorities were subjected to harassment the opposition.Their leader, priest Habakkuk, was exiled and then burned alive.The same fate befell many of his followers.Moreover, in protest at the Old Believers organized mass self-immolation.But, of course, not all were so fanatical.

from the central regions Russian Old Believers fled to the Volga region, the Urals, to the North, as well as in Poland and Lithuania.At Peter I of the Old Believers slightly improved.They were limited in their rights, they had to pay double taxes, but they can openly practice their religion.When Catherine II, the Old Believers were allowed to return to Moscow and St. Petersburg, where they formed the largest community.In the early 19th century, the government again has begun to "tighten the screws".Despite the oppression, Russian Old Believers abound.The richest and most successful merchants and industrialists, the most prosperous and thrifty peasants were brought up in the tradition of 'Ancient Orthodox "faith.

life and culture

Bolsheviks saw no difference between the new-and examined.Believers had to emigrate again, this time mainly in the New World.But even there they have managed to preserve their national identity.Culture of Old Believers pretty archaic.They do not shave their beards, do not drink alcohol and do not smoke.Many of them wear traditional clothing.Conservatives collect ancient icons rewrite religious books, children are taught Slavic writing and singing the banner.

Despite the denial of progress, conservatives often succeed in business and agriculture.Their thinking can not be called inert.The Old Believers - is very stubborn, persistent and purposeful people.The prosecution authorities only strengthened their faith and tempered spirit.