Old Believers - who are they? Old Believers and Old Believers - what's the difference?
Many people ask: "Old Believers and Old Believers - what is the difference in terminology and is there any at all?" The history of the emergence of these unusual groups of people is directly related to one famous person. His name is Nikon, and it was this man who was foretold by the fate of leading the Russian Orthodox Church and becoming a lever that led to the formation of the strange, original culture of the Old Believers.
Man as a split theory
The future patriarch was born in a poor peasant family in May 1605 in the village Veldemanovo near Nizhny Novgorod. The boy's mother died immediately after his birth, and his father married a second time. The stepmother disliked the child. She starved him and scoffed in every possible way.
There is evidence that the woman has repeatedly tried to deprive the named son of life. But each time Nikita (Nikon got this name at birth) was saved by a fluke.Later, memories of amazing, fantastic situations where he overcame death, gave him confidence in his divine mission.
It was big ambitions that led to the formation of such a flow as the Old Believers. Who they are and what role the patriarch plays in their formation, the material will tell further.
Often stood up for the grandson and grandmother. Since childhood, the boy was supportive of religious literature. The priest who taught literacy was the ideal for the child. Sometimes Nikita could not sleep. He was constantly disturbed by nightmares that he could forget the church texts. A devout boy escaped to the monastery without the permission of his parents.
In 1624, under the pretext of the mortal condition of his beloved grandmother, the young man was returned home. There he was married to a stranger. Nevertheless, the man did not leave religion. The young husband got a job as a priest in the local church. Then he did not even guess that the Old Russian church of the Old Believers, in which Nikon began to rule, would later hate him.
His readiness, deep faith and extraordinary zeal made him a good reputation. The merchants who came to the city noticed the talents of a young priest and offered him to move to work in Moscow.
The first steps to the tragedy
The death of all his children was a heavy blow. Nevertheless, in this event he saw the divine symbol. Nikon sent his wife to a monastery and himself devoted his life to serving the Almighty.
Very quickly, he achieved success and soon entered the higher circles of the clergy. Then the idea arose to refresh the church and improve the morals of the people. The ideas that originated during this period later led to a movement that the Old Believers dubbed. Who are they, until XVII did not know. This word appeared after Nikon took the throne in 1652.
As soon as he mastered the new title, they did not slow down the reforms. Throughout the entire Christian history of the Russian lands, the clergy held a landmark on the Byzantine church. In the mid-1600s, the canons of Russian Orthodoxy were very different from the Greek. This has led to various methods of conducting ceremonies and customs in rituals. Nikon in every possible way tried to correct the differences.
At first the traditions of the Russian and Byzantine churches were identical, but after a certain period of time the rites of the second changed. Most of the features were acquired after the fall of Constantinople.
Conditions for changing customs in the Russian lands were tough. Books with ingrained rituals were publicly burned, and those who adhered to the old laws were called heretics.
Consequences of the mission of life
Now historians firmly declare that if the patriarch introduced changes gradually, then there would be no such thing as the Old Believers. Who they are and what are their principles, mankind today would not know.
The church reform of the patriarch of 1650-1660 was aimed at the introduction of new and the destruction of the old canons. This was the cause of the emergence of supporters of Nikon. On the other hand, there were followers of his enemy, Avvakum. The latter believed that the entries in Russian books better reflect Orthodoxy, and Greek works were incorrectly changed by time.
Regarding the further fate of the man who split the Russian church, it was disappointing. For a long time, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich respected the patriarch. But due to the aggressive moods in the direction of Nikon of a large group of clergy, their relationship cooled.
In 1666 he was demoted in the post and sent to prison in a monastery. This was partly at the initiative of the sovereign.It is worth noting here that although this person lost her respect, the church of the Old Believers did not support, and the laws that the priest defended so ardently were adopted at the official level.
In exile, the former patriarch spent 15 years. Before his death, Alexei Mikhailovich asked the priest for forgiveness. The king's son, Fedor, also felt affection for the priest. He let him return from exile. But on the way the old man died. Despite significant protests from the new head of the church, Nikon the reformer was otpili as a patriarch. He was buried in the Cathedral of the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery. Fyodor Alekseevich himself read the Apostle above him with tears in his eyes.
The road is 700 years old
Ever since the times of Kievan Rus, the Old Believers have their own history. "Who are they?" - a question that requires in-depth analysis.
The theory of their religion was born immediately after the adoption of Christianity by Prince Vladimir. Then the ruler took the Greek Orthodoxy as a basis. Since 988, the inhabitants of a great power began to live under new laws, which largely contradicted paganism.
In the course of historical events, from 1439, the Russian Church fell out of the hands of Constantinople and began to develop independently.This happened before the arrival on the patriarchal throne Nikon, who in 1653 again headed for the Greek canons. Of course, drastic changes in the rules caused considerable resistance from the masses, who considered innovations unacceptable and illegal. There was a public condemnation of all those who ignored the Greek laws and continued to adhere to the rites of their ancestors, which have been known since the time of Prince Vladimir. The manner of prayer, the exclamation “hallelujah”, the number of prosphoras and the cross of the Old Believers were changed.
The biggest blow for them was the adoption of innovations officially. For some time the country was on the verge of a religious war. Repression and the pursuit of all those who were against the novelties of the church began. From now on, those who disagree were not simply called heretics, excommunicated from the holy trinity, and cursed, but physically exterminated. And all this was done at the national level and with the assistance of the royal power.
Religious community as a political threat
During the reign of Peter the Great, a double tax was imposed on the Old Believers. In 1722 a decree on the death penalty was issued for those who would contribute to the division of the church,that is, continue to pray according to old traditions.
Already by that time, some of the representatives began to hide. Many families left the places where their ancestors lived and worked for centuries. They went to distant, wild lands deep into Russia. Thousands of people left the empire and were looking for happiness abroad.
During the reign of Catherine II, a policy of religious tolerance was promoted. It was then that the terminology "Old Believers" and "Old Believers" appeared. What is the difference between these two concepts?
In nothing, they are absolutely identical. The first meaning arose as a word that characterized people who remained faithful to their religious preferences. All those who did not comply with the innovations bore the insulting name of schismatics, heretics and Old Believers. The synonym "Old Believers" was introduced by Catherine II. The queen introduced fresh reforms in the religious sphere of her country. So, for some time, the prosecution of these groups ceased.
Entire families were returning from abroad. But such changes did not last long. Despite the fact that the representatives of this movement were socially active and, thanks to their hard work, brought profit to the state, they also presented a great threat to the tsarist regime.
In time rhythm
The Orthodox Old Believers were perceived by the authorities as a political movement that played the role of the opposition for the imperial court. And indeed, as soon as Catherine II gave them official permission to build temples, this movement in a short period of time established their own city. Today it is located on the territory of Belarus. In the XVIII century there were about 5,000 Old Believers.
Some of these people on the orders of the queen killed. All those who remained alive were forcibly relocated to the east of Russia. There their descendants live now. Today they are known as Semeyskie.
It should be noted that other religious minorities, from Protestants to Buddhists, received state support.
According to official sources, in the XIX century a third of the population of the Russian Empire still lived by the rules of ancestors who were baptized in Kievan Rus.
Later, the authorities began to be more loyal to this trend. Increasingly, the question arose: "Old Believers - who are they?" Their customs and canons were not considered as those that could damage the integrity of the state. But they were forbidden to build temples, print books, distribute teachings, and even occupy high positions. Even marriage for couples was illegal.
In the early 1900s, the rights of this denomination were equated with other religious minorities.
Canons - the foundation for controversy
Before the arrival of Nikon, the Russian people lived for almost 700 years according to the rules that they were formed at the time of the baptism of Russia. The patriarch introduced reform, the consequence of which was the split of religion into two strong directions. The first current was supporters of innovations. Other dissenters were left out of society because they did not accept the proposed theories. So who are the Old Believers, what is the difference of this part of the people from the other?
The first and main difference is the translation and editing of scriptures. The process went down in history under the name "book business." The Symbol of Faith was also subject to changes, where the fundamental tenets of religion are indicated. Some important words have been removed or replaced from the text. For example, the Holy Spirit was henceforth used without the characteristic “true”, and in the lines referring to the future, the phrase “endlessly” was replaced with “there will be no end.”
In addition, acquired a different kind of liturgical literature. The Russian word "Ісус" Nikon wrote in the new style ус ус.
Left in the past and the cross of the Old Believers.The prayer gesture was previously carried out with the help of a two-finger (special addition of the fingers of the right hand), and after the reform, the church switched to double-feathers. Fans of ancient Orthodoxy argued that two fingers are a cross, which symbolizes the divine and human beginnings. And three folded fingers (trio-finger) are the sign of the Trinity, which is not related to the crucifixion.
They made bows differently. Walking around the church now committed against the sun. “Hallelujah” was sung three times instead of two times. Changed the number of prosphora.
The culture of antiquity in the present
Old Believers preserved the traditions of their ancestors. To this day they can be seen. In addition to the above canons, they are governed by other laws. The process of baptism occurs only through a full three-time immersion. These people do not recognize the four-pointed crucifixes, but such a cross (without Jesus) is present in their homes.
The icons of the Old Believers are still designed in the style that was adopted and approved by the clergy 1000 years ago. The service is based on books that were printed back in the period before Nikon’s reforms.
These communities lead a modest lifestyle. They have little fun and are very devout.But their religious holidays are no less fun and colorful than in other religions. The family charter is patriarchal. A woman obeys the orders of her husband and relatives on his part (even those who are younger than herself). Since often a small village consists of one family, the guys had to look for girls for themselves, in fact, to distant lands. They travel thousands of miles to another community to marry and marry.
Morals in the theory of life
All this knowledge was constantly carried by Old Believers, Old Believers. Who they are, the features of their faith, Catherine II understood the essence of their principles. It was on the initiative of the queen that these people left the cultivated land and drove their families in an unknown direction to the edge of Russia. There they began a new life, albeit a hard one, but free and safe.
Their characteristic feature is unlimited love for work and God. These rules and they are guided by life. According to their theory, the Almighty created a man like himself, therefore it is considered a great sin to change something in his appearance. Do not practice haircuts and shaving.
A special place in life is occupied by the prayers of the Old Believers. Talking with the Lord is necessary in the morning and evening.If at the beginning of the day it is hard to set aside time, then you can say the holy words in the free time from work during the light part of the day.
The clothing of this community is also unique. Festively dressed in the church. Men wear kaftans, young ladies wear sundresses and scarves. Headdresses for a married woman are required, since open hair and a naked body are considered to be very obscene.
Girls learned the art of tailoring from childhood. Usually, before marriage, they didn’t do heavy domestic work, but only observed. From childhood, boys were taught to work in the field and to farm.
Through the ages
Today, science is especially interested in the phenomenon called "Old Believers." Who are they? The photo in the article shows communities from different parts of the world, but all of them are united by deep family values.
These people lead a closed life, they rarely give interviews and believe that filming on camera is an unkind affair. They believe that photographs take away the divine energy that is stored in the human body. But without strange, unusual equipment they are good-natured, friendly and pleasant.
Many families still live without electricity, the Internet, they are not interested in crisis and defaults.Previously, the Old Believers did not use the money, did not buy clothes, food, medicine, and did not even eat overseas potatoes. They do not visit hospitals, very rarely enjoy the benefits of civilization.
The community lives by its own rules. The first to sit at the table is the father of the family. All pray. Leave the kitchen all together. A man should not see food being prepared, so the door to the room where it is made is curled with a cloth.
Neither church nor state needlessly, they managed to preserve the originality and spirituality that the first Christians of Kievan Rus handed down to them. These are people who did not know such vices as alcohol, tobacco and entertainment. But take care of the science of antiquity. In their souls lies the secret of the past.