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?
For perhaps 600 years, the patron saint of England - not Britain - has been Saint George. Before St George, there were several candidates for the position, including the last king of the ancient Saxon royal house, St Edward the Confessor, son of the disastrous King Ethelred the Unready. But St Edward was a monkish fellow, always praying, and never popular. Whereas St George, by repute, had slain a dragon on top of a well-known beauty spot in southern England. The fact that he was most likely an obscure third-century Roman, who had never been to the British Isles in his life, and is unlikely to have met a dragon, could be forgotten. He was heroic, he had a fine silver shield with a bold red cross on it, like a crusader. And the Londoners liked him and made him their own. When this author was a Wolf Cub and a Boy Scout in his childhood, he always had to march in the big St George’s Day parade, on the twenty-third day of this month !




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