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The Molokans in Armenia

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The Molokans are a Russian sectarian group formed in the 18th century. They reject the institute of Church and the church hierarchy. The members of this group refuse to worship icons and everything that is human-made, as well as the Cross as the instrument of murder. The real Christians, they believe, must worship only the living God and recognise the Bible as the Word of God.

From the beginning of the 19th century, by the initiative of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian government started to relocate those who rejected the Orthodoxy, including the Molokans, to the remote areas of the Empire. In Transcaucasia the Molokans were allowed to settle in the provinces of Tiflis, Erivan (Yerevan), Elizavetopol, and Baku.

For the time being, most of the Molokans living in Armenia retain the communal mentality, that has allowed them for nearly two centuries to preserve their cultural and religious identity and traditions. On the other hand, individual cases of active integration have always resulted in a departure from sectarianism, which does not necessarily cause the loss of self-awareness.

The article gives a detailed description of the history of the Molokan colonies in Armenia.

Affiliations: 1: Yerevan State University


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