Spiritual Christian NEWS 
By Andrei Conovaloff   Updated June 18, 2015
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We are Remodeling and Moving this Molokan website.
For years we did not have enough space to show all our reports, photos
and maps of Molokans Around the World. This volunteer job will take
months to move to www.Molokane.org where there is 40 times more
Be patient. Many links and images may not work for a while.
Some information may not be correct.  --  Project began July 2004


Tolstoy Studies Journal news           July 24, 2004
Note 2 items at this website: (1) "In May 1908, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky, a Russian scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, took the first color photographs of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana. The Tolstoy Studies Journal, online at the University of Toronto, added "The First Russian Color Photoportrait", which explains how these photos were made and displays links to the Tolstoy images."  
         And, (2)  "Andrew Donskov, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Ottawa, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Donskov is a leading Canadian Slavist in Russian literature and a world-renowned Tolstoy expert. His meticulous research on Tolstoy's drama and the perception of the Russian peasantry (especially religious dissidents [Spiritual Christians]) on the part of Tolstoy and other nineteenth-century Russian writers challenged prevailing critical opinion. His ongoing work on Tolstoy's epistolary legacy and his publication of hitherto unpublished archival materials has likewise been met with worldwide acclaim. He is the first Canadian to be awarded the Pushkin medal for scholarly achievements in Russian literature, and the only North American scholar invited to participate as a contributor in the massive new edition of Tolstoy's works now being published by the Russian Academy of Sciences." While working in the Tolstoy archives in Moscow researching letters to Doukhobors, Donskov discovered the 51 Tolstoy / Molokan letters and got them published in Russian and English, which is one of the reasons he got this award.

29 Molokan "organizations" registered in Russia          July 19, 2004
2003 Dec 13 International Religious Freedom Report 2003: Russia, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (U.S. State Department) Section I. Religious Demography "According to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), there were 21,448 registered religious organizations as of January 1. The figures show an increase of approximately 1,000 registered organizations since 2002 and over 5,000 since 1997. The MOJ recorded the number of registered religious groups as follows: ... Molokane29, Dukhobor1...." This is 10 more than the 19 Molokan organizations registered in 2001. In the entire Former Soviet Union there are about 150 congregations. "Legal obstacles to registration under a complex 1997 law 'On Freedom of Conscience and Associations,' which seriously disadvantages religious groups new to the country, eased during the period covered by this report. ... [Russians] discriminate against members of foreign [Mormon, JW, etc.] and less well-known religions [Hare Krishna, ...] by making it difficult for them to establish religious organizations in the country. ... the law distinguishes between religious 'groups' and 'organizations.' A religious 'group' is not registered ... " An "organization" has legal status, may open a bank account, own property, issue invitations to foreign guests, publish literature, conduct worship services in prisons and state-owned hospitals and among the armed forces, has tax benefits, and the right to proselytize. On July 21-22, 2005, the central Molokan organization for the world, The Union of Communities of Spiritual Christian Molokans in Russia, in Kochubeevskoe, Stavropol', will host an international congress to clebrate 200 years of freedom of religion for Spiritual Christian Molokans, . It will be 200 years since our doctrine was accepted by Tsar Aleksander I. See your invitation.

Tour Armenia, Visit Molokans           July 19, 2004
Tour Armenia: About Armenia Some enterprising Molokans in Armenia sell room-and-board to tourists. "Large numbers of Russians immigrated after the Russo-Turkish War of 1827-28, where they established villages, businesses and churches. ... Russians came in large numbers beginning with the exile of Molokans in the 18th century to Armenia's "Siberia" at Amassia [Shirak province, in the  northwest corner bordering Turkey and Georgia, on the road between Kars and Dilizhan.] ..., and Sevan ("Yelenovka").  There are about 5000 descendents of the original exiles in Armenia. The city of Sevan still holds some beautifully old, rambling houses inhabited by Molokan descendents, their windows resplendent with hand made lace curtains and Russian artifacts.  In most towns where they reside visitors are welcome to spend the night, in return for a small 'contribution' ($15-20 a night is appropriate for room and board)." This tourist site adds a few details about Sevan, but most of the content is taken from the book: Molokans in Armenia, by Semyonov. A few comments and corrections:

"Significant widespread resurgence" of Molokans in FSU           July 18
1992 Growing Protestant Diversity in the Former Soviet Union. by Mark Elliott and Robert Richardson. Chapter in a 1992 book: Russian Pluralism: Now Irreversible? (pages 189-214). Dr. Mark R. Elliott, is the Director of  The Global Center, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Alabama; and "Americas leading expert on Protestantism in Russia" They explain how the diversity of Protestantism in Russia was nearly stopped: "... Stalin and his successors ....[forced] one nationwide ... Protestant denomination. ... From 1929 to 1985, other Protestants were made to join this union, or disappear, or take up residence in the Gulag, or, at best, manage a precarious and illegal existence. ...churches simply ceased to exist ... with individual members fleeing abroad or, more usually, joining Evangelical Christian-Baptist or Lutheran congregations...This fate befell Molokane..." 20 Protestant denominations in the Former Soviet Union [FSU] are listed, and grouped into 6 categories, one of which is "Reemerging Churches", 6 denominations including Molokane. Information was gathered from many sources, including separate interviews in late 1991 with Jim Slevecove and Edward Samarin. "Orthodox detractors labeled one indigenous sect Molokane, or Milk Drinkers, because they did not observe the Lenten fast prescribed by the established church. Dating from 1765, these 'Spiritual Christians," as they called themselves, numbered 1.2 million before the end of the 19th century. Large-scale emigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, conversion to Baptist faith, plus severe Soviet repression from the 1930s meant an apparent total eclipse of the Molokane until the year 1952, when two of their representatives joined other religious leaders in orchestrated public endorsements for Stalin's peace policies at an interconfessional gathering at Sergiev Posad (then called Zagorsk). At that meeting, tens of thousands of Molokane were said to live in remote villages in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Recent evidence indicates the presence of 'Spiritual Christians,' strikingly similar to Baptists except for the absence of adult baptism, in all 11 Soviet time zones. Georgia and Central Asia continue as strongholds, with identified communities also in the Moscow, Stavropol, Krasnodar, and Rostov districts of the Russian Republic, as well as in Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. A Californian Molokan with close ties to his Soviet counterparts notes that the greatest concentrations of Molokane live in the Tbilisi area while several new churches recently opened in Moscow. [Slevcove's information was wrong. In 1991 there were less than a dozen congregations in and near Tblisi. Compared to Georgia, more congregations existed in Armenia and Azerbaidzhan, which had the largest congregation in Baku over 300 members. But most of the active congregations are dispersed in the Northern Caucasus throughout Stavropol' province, eastern Krasnodar province, and a concentration in east Rostov province. Of the 150+ congregations throughout the the FSU, only 1 is in Moscow.] Since 1990, Moscow also has served as headquarters for a USSR Union of Spiritual Christians (Molokane) that was formally recognized in August 1991, and for a new journal, Spiritual Christian. [And 4 more journals since then]. According to three separate sources, Molokane are in the midst of a significant widespread resurgence, with reports of revival in the Caucasus being singled out in particular. [But several wars in the Causcasus along with ethic cleansing forced evacuation of the majoirty of the Molokans. Individual villages lost 50% to 100% of their Molokan population.] It is not absolutely clear whether or not it is accurate to speak of the reemerging Molokane as having been completely repressed in the past."

A Settler's Family, 1907-1915          Updated Aug 3,  2009      Photos are  NOT  Molokans or Jumpers
Click to
            ENLARGEClick to ENLARGE2003 The Empire That was Russia The Library of Congress posted about 63 colorized photos taken by the "Photographer to the Tsar": Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Noteworthy: "Russian Settlers in the Borderlands" (right) "Ethnic Russian settlers to the Mugan Steppe region, south of the Caucasus Mountains and west of the Caspian Sea, established a small settlement named Grafovka [Central Azerbaijian, Tiflisskaia gubernia]. The region is immediately north of the border with Persia. Settlement of Russians in non-European parts of the empire, and particularly in border regions, was encouraged by official government policy and accounts for much of the Russian migration to Siberia, the Far East, and the Caucasus regions." Since mostly sectarians, most of them Molokans, were in the Caucasus at this time, these may be Molokans, Orthodox, Baptists, or Sabbatarians; not likely Doukhobors because they were only in a few villages. In any case, this is a photo of a Russian family in the Caucasus at the time of our migration to America. Another photo of interest to Jumpers and Maksimisti is: "View of Suzdal' from the Kamenka River, 1912", where M.G. Rudometkin spent his last days. The collection is divided into 4 parts: Architecture, Ethnic Diversity, Transportation, People at Work. Prokudin-Gorskii made color slide projections, photographed Lev Tolstoy, royalty, and much of the Russian landscape and peoples. The LOC Prokudin-Gorskii Collection contains 2,615 images. Also see: Mugan. Hut of a settler from Kharkov Province. Grafovka.(right) which looks like the house in the photo above, and Peasant girls. [Russian Empire] (left) Updated Jan 16, 2005 by Dr. Breyfolge: "Although there were a few Molokans who settled there, it is more likely that the photo is of Orthodox Russians who came down to the Mugan in the early 20th century as part of the large scale migration of Orthodox that the state organized at that time. I think this is especially likely since the village they mention, Grafovka, was settled after 1905 when almost all the settlers to transcaucasia were Orthhodox. See Ismail-Zade's book on the settlement of the Mugan area." [From Ismail-Zade: (1830-1900) page 292, Grafovka, Tiflisskaia guberniia, was settled by 317 people after 1905. Most all sectarians, mainly Molokans, arrived in the 1800s. Updated Aug 3, 2009. Wikipedia writers have incorrectly assumed that the photo "Russian Settlers in the Borderlands" (above) is possibly Molokan. This error should be corrected. Most recently a Turkish history journal selected the "Russian Settlers..." photo in a 2009 article.

2 Oregon Molokan-Jumpers Visit Erevan          May 19
2004 May-June Two men from Oregon are staying in Erevan for a month to learn Russian, visit, and explore the archives. Mike Tekenoff and Fred Hozen of Oregon also hope to bring back translated documents about Jumpers from the State Archives.

Molokans in Kars            May 19
2004 May 5   Two Turks in the Selim area, near Kars, report about the Molokans and will answer your questions. The father of one knew the presbyter in the village of Karahamza (3 km south of Selim), who he called "khozien" (Russian: "owner"). He owned and operated the water mill down river from Selim. He had 2 boys and 1 girl. The Molokan community was scattered over a wide area and united by visiting each other on religious holidays. They were mostly water mill owners and who had large home gardens. He mentions Tirosh (Trosh) and Gunesh, daughter Derunka, son Andre. In Kars there was a dentist Trifom Denisenko who operated a shop until 1964. Molokans, suffered a lot (mostly insults and assaults, scorns etc) and finally migrated to the Soviet Union in the early 1960's. They sold whatever they had cheaply. Within the first five years, all the mills broke down and the new owners did not have the skills to maintain them. The Turks then felt sorry. The Molokans knew mill operation, generated their own electricity when the native had oil lamps, and were innovative agrarians. Ethel Dunn is still working on Molokans in Turkey with the complete story of the Kars Molokans just before their pakhod to northern Stavropol'skii krai in 1960.

Lenin Spoke to Molokan Rep at 1921 Congress         May 19
1921 December 26 "Speeches at a Meeting of Non-Party Delegates to the Ninth All-Russia Congress of Soviets" by V.I. Lenin Lenin's Collected Works, published 1971, translated 2004 During the winter of 1921 in Moscow, nearly 2000 people gathered to hear Lenin speak. 139 were "non-Party people, and one delegate each with a consultative voice from the Socialist Revolutionaries, the Anarcho-Universalists, the Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party Pale Zion and the Molokan communities. ... The Meeting of Non-Party Delegates held on the evening of December 26, 1921, discussed two questions: that of the compulsory carting tax ...and the agrarian question. The meeting was chaired by M. I. Kalinin. ... Kalinin said: 'Some comrades say that we elect men by their beards. Excuse me, Comrades, but a beard means a lot to a peasant. It stands for his way of life, his thinking, and the best example is the peasant Petrushkin sitting here next to me. If Comrade Lenin says, Ill go and burn all the prayer-books, Id like to know the opinion of a non-Party man, and Ill ask Petrushkin what the peasants will think of my wanting to burn the prayer- books. He'll say, Who cares, let them burn. Hes a young man, but if I ask a bearded man hell say we ought to wait a bit. This means a lot to us.'"

"Oregon Dukhizhinik Molokan Church" Cemetery Tax Exemption Denied      May 19
2004 April 29 In the Oregon Tax Court Case: TC-MD 031156A Gabe Berukoff, Jim Hozen, and Paul Berekoff as Representatives of OMC Burial Park (Plaintiffs) vs. Marion County Assessor (Defendant) On October 30, 2002, the Oregon Molokan Church purchased property from Turner Twin Oaks Cemetery, Inc. for members of their congregation. No application was filed to exempt the property on or before April 1. It cannot be exempted for the 2003-04 tax year, but they can appeal. Note that this is a Dukhizhiznik congregation using the false label Molokan. The first Spiritual Christian cemetery in Oregon is a section of Gervais Masonic Cemetery, just outside of the town of Gervais near the church, in Marion County.

Burn your guns for Easter      Apr 20
2004 April 10 Vancouver Sun, by Stephen Hume "Want a real Easter message? Burn your guns"  "On Easter Sunday, 1895, a young conscript named Matvey Lebedev was training with a reserve battalion in the army of Czar Nicholas II when he suddenly threw down his rifle. He told his astonished officers that he was a Christian and said he had reached the conclusion that Christianity and war were not compatible. ..." 

4 Russian COs Apply for Alternative Service     Mar 31
2004 March 4 Novyi Region In Russian they are called al'ternativshchiki (). 4 young residents of the Urals (all in or near Ekaterinburg) submitted applications to the military commission requesting "alternative civilian service". They are representatives of the Union of Christians of Evangelical FaithPentecostals and Jehovah's Witnesses. Their doctrine forbids them not to use guns or wear a military uniform. The new civilian service in Russia lasts for 42 months, exactly twice as long as military service.

2004 Molokan Holidays     Mar 31

2004 Dukhizhiznik Holidays    Mar 29
Shown for Pacific Standard Time. 

Kosher Food Now Produced in Armenia        Mar 9
2004 April "Armenians Overcome High Kosher Prices With Own Products" Kosher Today "The Jewish community of Armenia has been working hard to resolve shortages of kosher food and the high cost of imported kosher food from Israel, Europe, and the US. .. to make kosher food available for every Jew, Chief Rabbi of Armenia ... managed to arrange for the production of kosher canned fruit, juices, vegetables and jam in Armenia. ... to be exported to Israel, USA and Europe. .... planning to operate a kosher cheese-producing factory."

Armenian Dukhizhiniki and Molokane Get CO Status     Feb 14
2004 Jan 16 Interfax "Alternative Service Laws Passed in Armenia" "Armenian President Robert Kocharian has signed laws ... alternative service that were earlier approved by parliament. ... The Law on Alternative Service gives Armenian citizens the right to choose between military and alternative service, if military service violates their religious or moral principles. In Armenia, mandatory military service lasts for 24 months, alternative military service for 36 months, and alternative civilian service for 42 months. The law will take effect on July 1, 2004." Read the complete law.

Fewer than 5,000 Spiritual Christians Remain in Armenia     Feb 14
2003 Aug 15 Pliusy & Minusy "Old Russian sectarians maintain traditions" "Although only fifteen years ago there were around 50,000 Molokans in Armenia, fewer than 5,000 remain in the country, the "Pliusy&minusy" magazine reports. 500 of them live in the village of Fioletovo, located two hours from Erevan. This is the only Molokan village in Armenia, where they have lived together for 170 years without mixing with the local population or losing their language. ..." Read the original article in Russian, and translated into English.

Australian Dukhizhiniki Get ID Code: 2999     Updated Mar 9
According to the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), "2999" is the official code number assigned by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Dukhizhiniki "Molokans" and "Molokans (Church of the True Christians)". Note that 2999 contains "666" upside down, to identify some of those down-under... :-)   NOTE FROM WA: The "ID number pertains to one church in Adelaide that is the only one registered as a church of the five there. The presbyter, WP Lediev, also is the only Dukhizhinik that can legally marry anyone and he signs the papers for most if not all Dukhizhinik marriages in South Australia even if he didn't preside. In WA we have the church ceremony and then the couple go see a judge for legalities; not unlike the requirement to get a marriage license in California."

Update on Dukhizhinik Driver's License Photo Excemption     Feb 14
2003 November 24 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators "... the trend among motor vehicle department officials is ...fewer exemptions. ... the main topic at the next national forum of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators: 'Driver's License and Identification Security.' The industry organization, which represents virtually every DMV in the country..." This updates last year's news about Ben Stackler who claimed to be a "Molokan" church of one to avoid having his photo taken. Also see: 2004 Driver Licensing and Identification Security Forum (DL/ID Security Forum) February 26-28, Houston, Texas, and Richard Evans Lee's Edifying Spectacle: "Graven image required for driver's license"

Doukhobor Choir Recalls 1975 Spiritual Christian Tour     Feb 14
Click for MORE"Let Us Take the Hand of Christ" "The Union of Youth of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ has always recognized the importance of choral singing in the lives of Doukhobors, and continues to stress it as one means of preserving the valuable Doukhobor culture and of developing better understanding and friendship among the peoples of the world. The Grand Forks Union of Youth Choir continues to participate at most Union of Youth functions, including Christmas and New Year's programs, Talent Nights, and the annual U.S.C.C. Youth Festival. ... The most significant undertakings of the choir in the recent past, have been its presentations at Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington, and its visit with the Spiritual Christians in California during the spring of 1975." Download album tracts in DCR audio format.

Drag Race to the Dukhizhiznik Cemetery     Feb 14
1995 The Nearest Faraway Place : Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience by Timothy White "Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth Stamp Campaign" "... the 'toolies' ran their raspy jalopies out to Slauson Avenue ... to drag .. opponents from rival Huntington Park High. ... Maywood was a great site on which to drag since long and bare Slauson bisected it ... Maywood had only two patrolmen ... If pursued, however, one could ... lurch into the Molokan Orthodox Russian Cemetery on the north side of the street, hiding out until it was safe to regroup at Stans Drive-in at Firestone Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Bell . ... Attending East Los Angeles Junior College ..." It's interesting to know that in the 1940s and 50s the famous artist Ed Roth and his buddies hid from cops in our cemetery, but they didn't know much about us. My original mission was to correct misinformation about Molokans, such as this recent book reported: Molokans are not Orthodox!, like Protestants are not Catholics. I should make one list of all the erroneous statements I've found.

Eyoseph Efseaff in Fresno News     Feb 14
2003 Dec 28 The Fresno Bee "Will of his Way: Discipline is a big part of UCLA guard Eyoseph Efseaff's game ... and his life." by Marek Warszawski 'Look out. Here comes big Eyo.' ...6-foot-3, 288-pound junior ... started 35 of 36 career games at UCLA, including 24 in a row at left guard. ... a self-described country bumpkin who grew up on a farm outside Porterville. ...who adheres to a strict Kosher diet in accordance with his religious beliefs. Efseaff's family is Russian Molokan, a group of Christian dissidents who broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century. Russian Molokans follow the Bible literally, including its dietary laws... "The thought of going to McDonald's or Burger King never crosses my mind." ... Efseaff shops at a kosher market and prepares most of his meals at home. On road trips, school officials order special meals for the gregarious guard. "When everyone is eating chicken and potatoes at the training table, I'm eating the same thing," Efseaff said. "It's just prepared differently." ...no plans to go on to the NFL. He can't. The NFL plays its games on Sundays, treated by Russian Molokans as a sacred Sabbath. "I can't work on Sundays," Efseaff said. "If someone wants to try and convince my dad [Esi], go right ahead. He's the preacher at our church. Good luck." See 7 earlier articles about the non-Jewish but kosher football star.

In Memory of Peter Oglow     Feb  9
2004 Feb 3 Doukhobor historian Koozma Tarasoff sent: "Attached is an appreciation of a memorable Doukhobor who died February 1, 2004 in Castlegar, British Columbia. In the 1970s and 80s I spent many hours with Peter at the museum and cherish the gift of one of his wooden spoons. He said that borsch "always tastes better" when he eats it with his bol'shaya loshka. I agreed. In Russia they'd say: "We are related by spoon." I also was touched when Peter gave me an honorary membership in the Historical Village Museum so I could use the bania anytime I visited. It was his way of thanking me for donating 300 1980 Molokan Directories to the Canadian-Doukhobors so they could know the American-Molokans better.

Andrew William Tolmachoff Funeral     Jan  26
2004 Jan 1 "Please announce to the Glendale congregation that my father, Andrew William Tolmachoff, died yesterday (1/23/04) after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for seven years. He was born in Glendale on 12/10/1923, the son of Vasily Sergevich Tolmachoff and Esverya Semonevna Zadorkin. The service will take place at Risher Montebello Mortuary either on Tuesday or Wednesday with burial in the New Cemetery in Commerce. Andy was a loving husband to Ruth Jack Ednoff, a great father to his children Mike, Wayne and Dru, and a devoted family member for his mother and ten siblings. We pray for his safe return to the Lord and Savior." From son Wayne Tolmachoff, Bakersfield

The True Molokan     Dec  19
2003 Nov A new book by George Mohoff The True Molokan more later




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