Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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. 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.