Old Believers

The Old Believers of Russia were religious conservatives who disliked the Church reforms of the mid seventeenth century - especially the 'foreign' way that the Patriarch Nikon made the sign of the cross. The objections of these schismatic 'Raskolniki' developed into a general rejection of outside westernizing influences which they perceived as corrupting the old Russian Orthodox faith that had been sanctified by the centuries; and to many Old Believers, Peter the Great was the Anti-Christ. A detailed account of these developments is given in the 'Peter' chapter of RUSSKA. Later in the story the Suvorins, an Old Believer family of serfs, buy their freedom and become successful capitalists in nineteenth century Russia, as described in 'The Duel' and succeeding chapters.




Did You Know?
The phrase "Mad as a March Hare" was popularized by Lewis Carrol in his classic, Alice in Wonderland, in which the March Hare is a character. The phrase was coined because hares are supposed to behave strangely during the March mating season.

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