Who are the Old Believers?

What do Old Believers believe and where do they come from? A historical reference

Old Believers todayOld Believers today

In the last few years more and more people become interested in healthy way of living, sustainable forms of agriculture, survival under extreme conditions, ability to live in the harmony with nature and spiritual development. In this connection some of them turn to the thousand-years-old experience of our ancestors, who managed to colonize the vast territory of present-day Russia and created agricultural, commercial and military outposts in the most remote corners of our Motherland.

Not the least of these ancestors are the old believers — people who not only populated the territory of the Russian empire, but brought Russian language, culture and faith to the shores of Nile, the jungle of Bolivia, the deserts of Australia and the snow-covered hills of Alaska. The experience of the old believers is unique: they managed to preserve their religious and cultural identity and not to lose their language and customs in the most difficult natural and political circumstances. It is not accidental therefore that the desert-dweller Agafya from the Lykov family is famous all around the world.

However the old believers are not well known. Some consider them to be people with primitive education who stick to the outdated ways of agriculture. Others think that old believers are people professing paganism and worshiping ancient Russian gods, like Perun, Veles, Dazhdbog etc. Still others ask: If there are old believers, there must be some Old Faith, right? Our article will try to answer these and other questions about the old believers.

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