Caucasus Roads

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                    ENLARGEWhere Spiritual Christians traveled in the 1800s

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On the Great Highway Through the Caucasain Mountains
Between the cities of Vladikavkaz [changed to Ordinozhkitino during Soviet times, but reinstated after peristroika] and Tiflis [Gerogian name: Tbilisi] runs a great military road far-famed as a remarkable feat of engineering skill. At certain parts the beauty of this way is indescribable. Towering rocks, awe-striking in their solemn grandeur, line the narrow zigzag road, from which precipices are separated only by a low wall or by posts placed at short intervals. (Photo: H.W. Nevinson) 

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                  ENLARGEHairpin Bends on a Road Near Erivan [Erevan]

Erivan [Erevan] stand over three thousand feet above sea-level and from it the road winds down in long zigzags to the vale seen in the distance with harsh-featured hills dominating it on each hand. At the end of the road, eighty miles away, is the town of Kars, which is now a part of the Turkish Republic, though formerly it belonged to Russia. [Most Spiritual Christians who immigrated to America, fled from the Kars area due to the Ruso-Turkish war, prejudice, and economy.]
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                  ENLARGEVillage of The Molokans Or Quakers
[In Old Russia, "Quaker" was a common derogatory synonym for Spiritual Christians, heretics, dissenters, Protestants, or any group which which protested against Orthodoxy or the state.   This is the village of Voskresenovka, now Lermontovo, also shown between pages 18-19 in Pilgrims of Russian Town by P.V. Young, 1932, reissued, 1967, reprinted 1998.]  In contrast to the many war-devastated villages are the near orderly ones of the [Spiritual Christians] Molokans and Jumpers who refused because of their religious beliefs to have any part in the fighting [of the Russo-Turkish War]. The Molokans, or Molokane [and Pryguny], are similar to the Quakers in their simple mode of life and in their practice of mutual help. Pryguny They call themselves "truly spiritual Christians." (Photo: Near East Relief)
Click to ENLARGE"In the mountainous districts, the houses are built on terraces, but in the more prosperous places they are made of rough stone or baked mud and often have large wooden balconies around the first floor, and  roofs of undulating red tiles. The houses of the rich are often very beautiful, especially those which are decorated with colored glazed tiles, indicating the Persian influence. 

"We may see now and then a neat orderly village and we learn that these are colonies of Germans who early in the nineteenth century started to the Holy Land because they had heard that the end of the world was near. They traveled so slowly that agents who had been sent in advance came to report to them that all was not as they believed in Jerusalem and so they stayed where they were. They cultivated the land as they had done in Germany and built their villages on the German plan and retained their German language, although they have learned Russian and some have learned Georgian.

[These Separatists and Harmonists prophesied the 2nd coming of Christ in 1836 on Mount Zion and influenced many Germans and Pryguny in the south Ukraine, Milky Waters region, as they traveled south from Germany. (Read more at: Hoffnungstal - 1848 Village History.) Their influence stimulated the formation of the Pryguny whose oral history reports a "great outpouring of the Holy Spirit" during the same time and place. (Read more at: Russians' Secret, Chapter 12.) Once in Georgia, the Harmonist leader changed the location of 2nd coming of Christ from Mount Zion, Palestine (now Israel), to be on Mount Ararat, Armenia, which affected the beliefs and behavior of Pryguny led by Maksim G. Rudomyotkin.

A sub-group of Separatists were Chiliasts, lead by Jung-Stilling. Berokoff reports in chapter 5: "...the book with a religious theme that enjoyed the widest popularity and even reverence among the elders previous to the publication of The Book of Spirit and Life in 1915, was a book on a mystical subject written by a German writer, Stilling Jung. ... concerning God's chosen people, their wandering from place to place in Europe and finding eventual haven in the Near East."]

"One may see also villages where the Spiritual Christians Molokans reside. These people belong to a sect of the Russian Church comparable to our Quakers. Spiritual Christian Molokane They derive their name from the custom of living on milk (moloko), in Russian) on fast days. The Molokans have no organized priesthood."


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