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?
Only one man was allowed to live in the royal palace of China, known as the Forbidden City: the emperor. All the other inhabitants were either women - wives, concubines or servants - or the famous palace eunuchs. Nearly all eunuchs were castrated when they were still only boys. But there were just a few who chose to be castrated after they became men, and even had children of their own. They did it for the money. 




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