Andrei Cherkasov: In the town Surovkino, even Cossacks sympathize with Old Believers

The Old Believers’ community of the town ofSurovkino has addressed the businessmen, leaders of plants and economies, and farmers, asking to help them to revive their church. The current district Duma and district administration have already apportioned 30 thousand rubles (about $ 1,000) for this purpose. Earlier, the Old Believers got an old building that needs serious restoration. As is well known, the Old Believers separated from Orthodoxy in the 17th century, and since that time, they have been keeping their ceremonies of divine service. Up to the year 1656, Orthodox believers in Russia crossed themselves with two fingers. Afterwards, after Nikon’s supposition, the Orthodox council legitimated the “tridactylous cross” and cursed the “bipennate crossers." The cursed Old Believers prefer a modest divine service to the Byzantine luxury of the modern church. They do not need a richly decorated church. It is for this reason that they do not need much money to restore the bulding. There is something that must be specified: Old Believers appeared in the area of the Don River just at the time of the split and persecutions (at the end of 17th century). They were persecuted and differently offended and sometimes, they were even put to death, though Cossacks practically saved them. It is interesting that neither tsars nor Bolsheviks, including generalissimo Stalin annihilated the Old Believers on the Don, though Khruschev, so beloved by democrats, managed to do it. Today, members of the Surovikino Old Believer community are asking for help. They suppose that in general, Cossacks have always been Old Believers. Of course, this is an overstatement. The Old Believer church of the Protection of the Virgin was functioning in Surovikino till 17th century. Though Cossacks, while respecting diligent and skilful Old Believers, preferred Orthodoxy.

Andrei Cherkasov PRAVDA.Ru Volgograd

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