Old Believers: who are they?

Nowadays, most people are unlikely to give a clear answer to the question of who the Old Believers are, because today the concept of �Old Believers� is associated with something dense, very ancient, somewhere far in the past. Of course, today in the streets of the city one can�t meet men with a special �pot� haircut and a beard, and women in long skirts with a scarf tied under the chin are not to be found. But the adherents of the Old Believers, and there are them in different cities of Russia is not enough.

Features of the Old Believers

Consider people like the Old Believers, who they are and what they do. These are communities of people who maintain the traditions of the Orthodox Church since the time of the baptism of Russia, and remain faithful to this day to the ancient church rites.

In fact, there are no special differences between the new and old faith, but the teaching of the Old Believers is much stricter than the Orthodox. And besides this there are some other differences, namely:

  • Old Believers are baptized with two fingers.
  • The name of Christ on the icons of the Old Believers is spelled "Jesus", with one "And."
  • The prayers of the priest, the Old Believers do not answer with a triple, but with a double "Hallelujah."
  • The perfect form of the cross in the Old Believers is considered to be eight-pointed.

So the Old Believers and the Orthodox, there are purely external differences and ceremonial.

How did the Old Believers

We looked at who the Old Believers are, let's find out where they came from. Old Believers appeared at a time when Patriarch Nikon decided to carry out a reform aimed at correcting church liturgical books, in which, as it was believed, because of the illiteracy of the scribes, there were many mistakes and ridiculous phrases that distort the meaning of the text. In addition to this, reform also affected the conduct of church rituals and services. The Patriarch did everything to end religious ignorance, which arose as a result of the decline of Russian culture after the rule of the Tatar-Mongol yoke. However, part of the society could not accept reforms and innovations because of the conviction that there is no need to change the teaching and all the rites associated with it. So a separate part of Russia remained true to the Old Believers, which is preserved and sow the day.

How the Old Believers live today

Nowadays, the backbone of the Old Believer community is mainly women, but there are also men and whole young families with children.Often the Old Believers settle separately in villages and townships, organize there their collective farms, from which they feed mostly on the whole community. Discipline in these settlements, as a rule, is very strict, however, like all the faith and life of the Old Believers.

In the communities of the Old Believers, unanimity prevails, there are all women in sundresses or long skirts, and men in simple shirts and beards. Any business in a community ends and begins with a common prayer. On weekdays the Old Believers work with diligence, and on church holidays working life calms down, and solemn services are held.

A distinctive feature of the Old Believer communities is complete mutual assistance. For example, the family keeps the cow, and the children of small and strong hands are not enough, then all residents of the settlement will help this family to prepare hay for the winter. And so in all, and in sorrow and in joy, everyone in the community will be supported.

Now you know who the Old Believers are. This will allow you to better understand their culture and characteristics of life. We wish you good luck!