Sept 30, 2000 10 PM -- Mr. Avakian, in Armenia:
Here in Armenia there are several Russian villages of Molokans. Molokans are very shy, kind and hard working people. They never cuss, don't drink alcohol and don't fight. All the men have long beards. They grow cabbage and carrots, and pick mushrooms. They live isolated. Their faces are lit up [contented]. In other words these are the best Russians I've ever seen in my life.
A couple years ago, in Erevan's central market, I chatted with a very young Molokan boy who was selling sauerkraut (this is their specialty). I learned that in the beginning of the 1990s occurred the most difficult blockade [of trade] years for Armenia. His family, along with several others, moved to central Russia, but after a year all but one family returned. I was interested in why they returned. His answer struck [amazed] me, "Many people there [in Russia] used bad language, and drank a lot!" He said "used bad language", not cursing. Can you believe they prefer to return to their village [in Armenia], where they have no electricity or gas and be poor, than live among cursing and drinking kinsman [fellow Russians]!
Can anybody tell me who are the Molokans, and how the Russian Orthodoxy Church treats them? I just know that they are Old Believers, and their name named is related to the word "milk". And that besides in Armenia, there are Molokan villages in Georgia, Turkey, and Canada. I don't know anything else. [He errors in calling the Molokans "Old Believers" and having villages in Canada, perhaps confusing them with the Doukhobors. There were villages of Molokans in Turkey, but no longer.]
Sept 30, 2000 11 PM -- Mr. Tikhonov, in Moscow:
Can you believe they prefer to return to their village [in Armenia], where they have no electricity or gas and be poor, than live among cursing and drinking kinsman [fellow Russians]!
This is simple, they were forgotten by Sophia Vasilievna [maybe a KGB officer]. We should have sent two or three KGB workers to their village and send them away to Varkuta [prisons North of Moscow], Karaganda [prisons in Central Asia], and Kalyma [prisons in North Siberia], like it happened to the rest of Russia; and you can be sure that other people would be selling sauerkraut in Erevan.
Can anybody tell me who are the Molokans, and how the Russian Orthodoxy Church treats them?
They don't bother them. Molokans themselves, a couple of centuries ago fled from Russia so they won't be related to the Russian Orthodox Church. And the Church has a tradition to respect people's freedom of choice.
I just know that they are Old Believers...
I think not. As I remember from books about Russian religions, Molokanism is a form of Russian Protestantism. Usually they describe Molokans with Doukhobors and Subbotniki. So we cannot exclude that their Protestantism was built on a Jewish-phylia [iudeofil'skoi] model.
Oct 1, 2000 8 AM -- Mr. Konstantinov, in Canada:
[To be added .......]
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