The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Earth and its Inhabitants

The Stranniki

In the book, The Earth and its Inhabitants, it mentions on page 465 that in Siberia not only are there “vagabonds” who have escaped from prison, but that due to its great and limitless area Siberia attracts other types of people:

‘The sect of Stranniki, or “Wanderers,” has many representatives in Siberia, where they are ceaselessly roaming over the woodlands and highlands in search of that, “White Water” which cleanses from all sin, and at the same time insures them everlasting bliss. In most of the towns and villages they find friends, who, though really members of the sect, lend a sedentary life, and outwardly conform to the orthodox religion. Their sole mission is to give hospitality to their “wandering” brethren, and screen them from the police. When they are discovered and thrown into prison, the Stranniki thank the Lord for the trial which has overtaken them, and which must purify their faith. But as a rule the “raskol,” or “desent,” finds a less propitious soil in Siberia than in European Russia, and the indifference of the Sibiryaks in religious matters has ended be reacting on the Raskolinks themselves.’