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?
This month four hundred years ago, the famed Mayflower began its journey across the Atlantic. After abandoning its sister ship, the Speedwell, which was not seaworthy, the Mayflower finally set sail in September. The people on the Mayflower all belonged to an obscure sect called the Brownists. The founder, Brown himself, had already abandoned the sect and returned to the king’s Church of England. The Pilgrim fathers were woefully badly prepared for their journey, lacking proper farm implements and livestock. The miracle is that they survived at all!




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