Doukhobors women at Gorelovka

Actually, the Doukhobors represent a continuation of non-established spirituality that probably has its origins in the early church.They are sometimes considered the heirs of the Bogomils, Waldensians, Paulicians, and other earlier groups. That is true of Sabbatarian Baptists too. But Doukhobors are not Sabbatarian. There are several native Russian groups of Sabbatarians that are very similar to Sabbatarian Baptists if not identical. Some groups of the old Subotniki, the descendants of the Firenc David Sabbatarians from the late 1500s, and even the fascinating group of Yehowists, founded by Nikolai Ilyin in the 1840s. The latter is even rather Islam-friendly. (Thomas McElwain)

The Doukhobors or Dukhobors (Russian: Духоборы, Dukhobory), earlier Dukhobortsy (Russian: Духоборцы) (literally – Spirit-Wrestlers) are a group of Russian origin. The Doukhobors were one of the sects – later defined as a religious philosophy, ethnic group, social movement, or simply a “way of life” – known generically as Spiritual Christianity. The origin of the Doukhobors is uncertain. The first clear record of their existence, and the first use of the names related to “Doukhobors”, are from the 18th century. However, some scholars believe that the sect had its origins in the 17th or even the 16th century.[1][2] They rejected secular government, the Russian Orthodox priests, icons, all church ritual, the Bible as the supreme source of divine revelation, and the divinity of Jesus. Their pacifist beliefs and desire to avoid government interference in their life led to an exodus of the majority of the group from the Russian Empire to Canada at the close of the 19th century. Assimilated to a varying extent into the Canadian mainstream, the modern descendants of the first Canadian Doukhobors continue to live in south-eastern British Columbia, southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Today, the estimated population of Doukhobors in North America is between 15,000 to 20,000 in Canada and about 5,000 in the United States.

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