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|n.||1.||The name applied by the Russian government to any subject of the Greek faith who dissents from the established church. The Raskolniki embrace many sects, whose common characteristic is a clinging to antique traditions, habits, and customs. The schism originated in 1667 in an ecclesiastical dispute as to the correctness of the translation of the religious books. The dissenters, who have been continually persecuted, are believed to number about 20,000,000, although the Holy Synod officially puts the number at about 2,000,000. They are officially divided into three groups according to the degree of their variance from orthodox beliefs and observances, as follows: I. "Most obnoxious." the Judaizers; the Molokane, who refuse to recognize civil authority or to take oaths; the Dukhobortsy, or Dukhobors, who are communistic, marry without ceremony, and believe that Christ was human, but that his soul reappears at intervals in living men; the Khlysty, who countenance anthropolatory, are ascetics, practice continual self-flagellation, and reject marriage; the Skoptsy, who practice castration; and a section of the Bezpopovtsy, or priestless sect, which disbelieve in prayers for the Czar and in marriage. II. "Obnoxious:" the Bezpopovtsy, who pray for the Czar and recognize marriage. III. "Least obnoxious:" the Popovtsy, who dissent from the orthodox church in minor points only.|
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.