At the very moment when his car entered the territory Rogozhskaya Sloboda, Vladimir Putin put an end to three and a half centuries of exile conservatives. May 31, for the first time since the painful split of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1667, the country’s leader paid a visit to the ancient spiritual community, pursued by both the tsarist and Soviet power.
It is a historical event that has remained virtually unnoticed and it was in a closed area in the South of Moscow (previously the old believers was the room just outside of the capital), followed by the Congress gathered from all over the world of the old believers. “We discussed homecoming, participation in agriculture. They would love to give them the land. They would have revived it and prayed,” — said the President of Metropolitan Cornelius.
The spiritual leader of old believers, a man in a black cassock, with a half-hidden, well-groomed beard, a large medallion, and long hair under a black hat, took on the role of tour guide for the guest of honor.
Our guide’s name is Peter. The high Cossack boots, the waist is intercepted by a cloth belt, a beard is hardly inferior to that of Metropolitan (under Peter the Great, he would have to pay additional tax).
Terrible schism of the XVII century
This 26-year-old Siberian got a degree in chemistry, but then went to theology. We say he reminds us of the Amish living in North America a closed community, which also resulted from the religious schism in Europe in the seventeenth century. “Nothing like that, — he says. — We live in a society and watch TV, not the fighters and not the horror films”. Anyway, to get to the Pokrovsky Cathedral, you need to read the rules.
Women should tie a handkerchief on your head (he stabs under the chin with a pin), wear a long skirt and carry bag in hand, not the shoulder.
Here the service is conducted by candlelight, which is manually lit on hanging from the ceiling, giant chandelier. Pristine floor and on the walls hung many icons: they say that here there are about 4 thousand.
Conservatives are distinguished primarily form the sign of the cross: two United fingers symbolize in the Byzantine tradition of the dual human and divine nature of Christ. This seemingly innocuous gesture has caused a terrible split in the XVII century, when Patriarch Nikon decided to reform the Scriptures and enter troebortnoe the sign of the cross on the Greek model (symbolizing the Trinity). The reform was supported by the second of the Romanov dynasty, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, but some believers saw it as the imposition of “European” orders to the detriment of Russian traditions.
Oppression until 1905
The whole family were old believers at the stake or killed while filled with travel to remote regions of Russia, beyond the Ural mountains, or abroad.
Exhibited at the famous Tretyakov gallery painting Vasily Surikov “Boyarynya Morozova” sealed their martyrdom: she sits on a sled with a chain shackled hands, but he holds up a hand with two fingers in the sign of the cross.
© RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky | go to Photobacterium of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the head of the Russian Orthodox old believers ‘ Church, Metropolitan Cornelius
Peter tells us about the existence of French-believer, some of Vasily, who studied at the Sorbonne, who chose to end his life at the stake in the Vladimir region, but did not renounce his newfound faith.
The persecution of old believers continued until 1905, when Tsar Nicholas II dismissed the label of “schismatics”, as well as giving them the right to ring the bells and to build churches. Whatever it was, the lull was short-lived: after 12 years of the Bolshevik terror fell on members of all religions. The Orthodox Church lifted the anathema only in 1971. “Too many disagreements on dogma,” — said Peter.
Religion — Russian difference from the West
Restored after the Soviet collapse Rogozhskaya Sloboda covers an area of several hectares (it even has its own cemetery), as if dropped out of the flow of time island in the middle of the Soviet buildings.
In one of the churches, which not long ago used as a dining room, an exhibition “the power of the spirit, faithful to tradition.” It presents the life of believers, somehow surviving icon, portable iconostasis, a miniature cult objects and leaflets.
The representative of the old believers Church Roman Antolin called Putin’s visit “divine Providence”: “the Authorities finally turn to face us and appreciate the contribution of the old believers in the history of Russia, its culture and heritage.”
The head of state understands this. The retired KGB officer today that draws heavily on religion as a difference between Russia and the West. In particular, he promised to help with the return of overseas believers.