Old Believers Alaska

December 17, 2013 by  

Old Believers Alaska, Download audio file
A conservative Russian Orthodox community has been living in Alaska, trying to keep the old ways and traditions of their 16th century conservative faith alive in 21st century America. The Voice of Russia talked about this community with Dr. Jack Kollman, Lecturer in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies at Stanford’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Often characterized as anti-modernization, in both technological and doctrinal terms, they call themselves Old Believers. The Old Believers left the Russian Orthodox church in 1666, in the face of state-issued church reforms.

Kollman has made 40 trips to Russia/the Soviet Union over the last five decades. He has studied the 17th-Century Russian sect and the community which ended up in Alaska after travelling from Russia through China, Brazil, and Oregon. He says the best American group to which to compare them is the Amish.

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