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The Woman Clothed in the Sun: Pacifism and Apocalyptic Discourse among Russian Spiritual Christian Molokan-Jumpers

  • J. Eugene Clay


With its violent images of heavenly and earthly combat, the book of Revelation has been criticized for promoting a vengeful and distorted version of Christ's teachings. Gerd Lüdemann, for example, has attacked the book as part of the “dark side of the Bible,” and Jonathan Kirsch believes that the pernicious influence of Revelation “can be detected in some of the worst atrocities and excesses of every age, including our own.” Yet, surprisingly, nonviolent pacifists have also drawn on the Apocalypse for encouragement and support. This was especially true for generations of Russian Spiritual Christians (dukhovnye khristiane), a significant religious minority whose roots trace at least as far back as the 1760s, when the first “spirituals” (dukhovnye) were arrested and tried in Russia's southern provinces of Tambov and Voronezh. Although they drew upon apocalyptic martial imagery, the Spiritual Christians were pacifists, some of whom came to identify themselves with the Woman Clothed in the Sun of Revelation 12.



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1 Lüdemann, Gerd, The Unholy in Holy Scripture: The Dark Side of the Bible, trans. Bowden, John (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1997), 114–17; Kirsch, Jonathan, A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the World Changed the Course of Western Civilization (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), 18. Skaggs, Rebecca and Doyle, Thomas, “Violence in the Apocalypse of John,” Currents in Biblical Research 5, no. 2 (February 2007): 220–34.

2 On the first Spiritual Christians, see Vysotskii, Nikolai Gavrilovich, Materialy iz istorii dukhoborcheskoi sekty (Sergiev Posad: Tipografiia I. I. Ivanova, 1914); Ryndziunskii, Pavel G., “Antitserkovnoe dvizhenie v Tambovskom krae v 60-kh godakh XVIII veka,” Voprosy istorii religii i ateizma 2 (1954): 154–93; Inikova, Svetlana A., “Tambovskie dukhobortsy v 60-e gody XVIII veka,” Vestnik Tambovskogo universiteta, seriia Gumanitarnye nauki 2, no. 1 (1997): 3953; Inikova, , “The Tambov Dukhobors in the 1760s,” trans. Bliss, Liz, Russian Studies in History 46, no. 3 (Winter 2007–2008): 1039. The Spiritual Christians held firm to their iconoclasm, in contrast to most Russians, who deeply and sincerely venerated icons. Shevzov, Vera, “Icons, Miracles, and the Ecclesial Identity of Laity in Late Imperial Russian Orthodoxy,” Church History 69, no. 3 (September 2000): 610–31. On the fourth-century pneumatomakhoi, see Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter, Die Pneumatomachen: Eine Untersuchung zur Dogmengeschichte des vierten Jahrhunderts (Hamburg: Hauschild, 1967).

3 Lee, Dorothy A., “The Heavenly Woman and the Dragon: Rereadings of Revelation 12,” in Feminist Poetics of the Sacred: Creative Suspicions, ed. Devlin-Glass, Frances and McCredden, Lyn (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 201.

4 Wierzbicka, Anna, “Russian Cultural Scripts: The Theory of Cultural Scripts and Its Applications,” Ethos 30, no. 4 (December 2002): 401–32; Fearon, James D. and Laitin, David D., “Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity,” International Organization 54, no. 4 (Autumn 2000): 845–77, esp. 852; Swidler, Ann, “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies,” American Sociological Review 51, no. 2 (April 1986): 273–86.

5 Varadinov, Nikolai, Istoriia Ministerstva vnutrennikh del, vol. 8: Istoriia rasporiazhenii po raskolu (St. Petersburg: v Tipografii Vtorogo Otdeleniia Sobstvennoi E. I. V. Kantseliarii, 1863), 350–53.

6 Shvetsov was imprisoned from 1835 to 1850. Kokoreva, T. V., “Suzdal'skii Spaso-Evfim'ev monastyr' kak mesto zatocheniia raskol'nikov v XIX vekeVestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, seriia 8: Istoriia, no. 5 (2000): 112.

7 Breyfogle, Nicholas, Heretics and Colonizers: Forging Russia's Empire in the South Caucasus (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2005); Woodcock, George and Avakumovic, Ivan, The Doukhobors (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1977); Novitskii, Orest Markovich, O dukhobortsakh (Kiev: V tip. akademicheskoi, pri Kievopecherskoi lavre, 1832); Novitskii, , Dukhobortsy: ikh istoriia i verouchenie (Kiev: v Universitetskoi tip., 1882). Individual Molokans and Dukhobors varied in their commitment to pacifism and the extent to which they were willing to provide noncombatant service. Klibanov, Aleksandr Il'ich, Istoriia religioznogo sektantstva v Rossii (60-e gody XIX v.-1917 g.) (Moscow: Nauka, 1965), 168–69; Breyfogle, Heretics, 217–98.

8 Levin, Jules F. and Merritt, Steven E., “Semiotics of Inspired Illustration in a Molokan Sacred Text,” American Journal of Semiotics 9, no. 4 (1992): 89102. On the Molokans, see [Pokrovskii, Grigorii], “Istoricheskiia svedeniia o molokanskoi sekte,” Pravoslavnyi sobesednik (September 1858): 4280; (November 1858): 291–327; Butkevich, Timofei Ivanovich, Molokanstvo (Khar'kov: Tipografiia Gubernskogo pravleniia, 1909); Butkevich, , Obzor russkikh sekt i ikh tolkov (Khar'kov: Tipografiia Gubernskogo Pravleniia, 1910), 281461; Livanov, Fedor Vasil'evich, Raskol'niki i ostrozhniki: ocherki i razskazy, 4 vols. (St. Petersburg: Tip. M. Khana, 1871–1873); Berokoff, John K., Molokans in America (Los Angeles: Stockton-Doty Trade, 1969); Conybeare, Frederick C., Russian Dissenters (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1921), 289326; Lane, Christel, Christian Religion in the Soviet Union: A Sociological Study (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1978); Klibanov, Istoriia religioznogo sektantstva, 122–83; Malakhova, Irina Aleksandrovna, Dukhovnye khristiane (Moscow: Izd-vo politicheskoi literatury, 1970); Lunkin, Roman and Prokof'yev, Anton, “Molokans And Dukhobors: Living Sources of Russian Protestantism,” Religion, State and Society 28, no. 1 (2000): 8592.

9 The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, ed. Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1969–1973), 5:217; Hippolytus, , Skazaniia ob antikhriste v slavianskikh perevodakh s zamechaniami o slavianskikh perevodakh tvorenii Sv. Ippolita (St. Petersburg: Tip. Imperatorskoi akademii nauk, 1874).

10 Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Roberts and Donaldson, 7:355.

11 Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou, “Andrew of Caesarea and the Apocalypse in the Ancient Church of the East” (Ph.D. diss., Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses, Université Laval, 2008).

12 See, for example, Rossiiskaia gosudarstvennaia biblioteka, Otdel rukopisei, fond 304, I, no. 6.

13 Alpatov, Mikhail Vladimirovich, Pamiatnik drevnerusskoi zhivopisi kontsa XV veka: Ikona Apokalipsis Uspenskogo sobora moskovskogo Kremlia (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo “Iskusstvo,” 1964); Carolyn Anderson, “Image and Text in the Apocalypse Icon of the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1977), 140–53.

14 Filofei, , “Poslanie o zlykh dnekh i chasekh,” in Pamiatniki literatury drevnei Rusi: Konets XV–pervaia polovina XVI veka, ed. Likhachev, Dmitrii Sergeevich and Dmitriev, Lev Aleksandrovich (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1984), 452–53; Malinin, Vasilii Nikolaevich, Starets Eleazarova monastyria Filofeia i ego poslaniia: istoriko-literaturnoe issledovanie (Kiev: Tipografiia Kievo-Pecherskoi Uspenskoi Lavry, 1901), prilozhenie.

15 Bulgakov, Fedor Osipovich, “Sionskaia knizhka bogodukhnovennykh izrechenii Davyda Essevicha, on zhe Fedor Osipovich Bulgakov,” in Bozhestvennyia izrecheniia nastavnikov i stradal'tsev za slovo bozhie, veru Iisusa i dukh sviatoi religii dukhovnykh khristian molokan-prygunov, ed. Samarin, Ivan Gur'evich, 2nd ed. (Los Angeles: “Dukh i zhizn',” 1928), 80. This 1928 collection is the canonical edition of the utterances of Molokan-Jumper prophets and is generally known by the title Dukh i zhizn' (Spirit and Life). The editors divided the text into numbered books (knizhka), chapters (glava) or articles (povest'), and verses (stikh), and I give those reference numbers when citing from this work. The translations are my own; there is also a complete English translation: Divine Discourses of the Preceptors and the Martyrs for the Word of God, the Faith of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, of the Religion of the Spiritual Christian Molokan-Jumpers, Including a History of the Religion, trans. John W. Volkov, ed. Daniel H. Shubin (n.p., 1983). See also the translated excerpts by Berokoff, John K., Selections from the Book of Spirit and Life, Including the Book of Prayers and Songs by Maxim G. Rudametkin (Whittier, Calif.: Stockton Trade, 1966).

16 Bulgakov, “Sionskaia knizhka,” 80.

17 Ibid., 84, 5:6

18 Ibid., 85, 6:3.

19 Ibid., 90, 10:4.

20 Ibid., 87, 8:2

21 Ibid., 91, 11:3, 7.

22 Ibid., 92, 11:12.

23 McGrew, Roderick E., Russia and the Cholera, 1823–1832 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1965), 5074; Druzhinin, Nikolai Mikhailovich, Gosudarstvennye krest'iane i reforma P. D. Kiseleva, 2 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1946), 1:196–99; Kahan, Arcadius, Russian Economic History: The Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 121; Andrei D'iakonov, “Istoricheskii ocherk sektantstva v predelakh Astrakhanskoi eparkhii (po dokumentam mestnykh arkhivov),” Natsional'nyi arkhiv Respubliki Tatarstan, fond 10, opis' 2, delo 1390.

24 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii: Sobranie vtoroe, 62 vols. (St. Petersburg: Tip. II Otdeleniia Sobstvennoi E.I.V. Kantseliarii, 1830–1884), 1 (1826): 187–92, no. 126; 5 (1830): 169–70, no. 4010; Breyfogle, Heretics, 38–45.

25 Cited in Inikova, Svetlana A., “Vzaimootnosheniia i khoziastvenno-kul'turnye kontakty kavkazskikh dukhobortsev s mestnym naseleniem,” in Dukhobortsy i molokane v zakavkaz'e, ed. Kozlov, V. I. and Pavlenko, A. P. (Moscow: Institut etnologii i antropologii im. N. N. Miklukho-Maklaia, 1992), 45.

26 Breyfogle, Heretics, 58–74; Varadinov, Istoriia, 8:345.

27 Jung-Stilling, Johann Heinrich, Das Heimweh (Marburg: In der neuen akademischen Buchhandlung, 1794–1795); Jung-Stilling, , Toska po otchizne, trans. Lubianovskii, F., 5 vols. (Moscow: v Universitetskoi tipografii, 1817–1818); Jung-Stilling, , Die Siegsgeschichte der Christlichen Religion in einer gemeinnützigen Erklärung der Offenbarung Johannis (Nuremburg: Raw'schen, 1799); Jung-Stilling, , Erster Nachtrag zur Siegsgeschichte der christlichen Religion in einer gemeinnützigen Erklärung der Offenbarung Johannis (Nuremburg: Raw'schen, 1805); Rossiiskaia gosudarstvennaia biblioteka, Otdel rukopisei, fond 173, II (Sobranie rukopisnykh knig Moskovskoi dukhovnoi akademii), no. 141; Unger, Walter, “Mennonite Millennial Madness: A Case Study,” Direction 28, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 201–17; Mertens, Erich, “Jung-Stilling und der Kreis um Frau von Krüdener,” in Zwischen Strassburg und Petersburg: Vorträge aus Anlass des 250 Geburtstages von Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling, ed. Wörster, Peter (Siegen: J. G. Herder, 1992), 4196.

28 Kondakov, Iurii Evgen'evich, Dukhovno-religioznaia politika Aleksandra I i russkaia pravoslavnaia oppozitsiia (1801–1825) (St. Petersburg: Nestor, 1998), 3334. In his interpretation of Revelation, first published in 1740, Bengel had tentatively calculated 1836 as the beginning of Christ's millennial rule. Bengel, J. A., Erklärte Offenbarung Johannis oder vielmehr Jesu Christi, 3rd ed. (Stuttgart: verlegts Johann Christoph Erhard, Buchhändler, 1758); idem, Bengelius's Introduction to His Exposition of the Apocalypse, trans. Robertson, John (London: sold by J. Ryall and R. Withy, 1757).

29 Pobednaia povest', ili torzhestvo khristianskoi religii (St. Petersburg: v Morskoi tipografii, 1815).

30 The Old Believers broke from the state church in the seventeenth century when they refused to accept the liturgical reforms of Patriarch Nikon (r. 1652–1658). Petrov, Sergey V., “The Jehovists-Il'inites: A Russian Millenarian Movement,” Nova Religio 9, no. 3 (February 2006): 83; Petrov, “Nikolai Il'in and His Jehovist Followers: Crossroads of German Pietistic Chiliasm and Russian Religious Dissent,” (master's thesis, University of Calgary, 2006), 26–33; Pokrovskii, Nikolai Nikolaevich and Zol'nikova, Natal'ia Dmitrievna, Starovery-chasovennye na vostoke Rossii v XVIII–XX vv. Problemy tvorchestva i obshchestvennogo soznaniia (Moscow: Pamiatniki istoricheskoi mysli, 2002), 171–76. Even Orthodox monks made copies of Jung-Stilling's commentary: for example, Hilandar Research Library, Ohio State University, Hilandar Monastery Slavic Manuscript Collection, no. 417. Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church regarded the book as so dangerous that it prepared a special rebuttal to its arguments entitled, “The Cry of the Woman Clothed in the Sun, or the Victorious Song of the Greco-Russian Conciliar and Apostolic Church against the Victorious History of Jung-Stilling.” Rossiiskaia gosudarstvennaia biblioteka, Otdel rukopisei, fond 304, II, no. 173. See Högy, Tatjana, Jung-Stilling und Russland: Untersuchungen über Jung-Stillings Verhältnis zu Russland und zum Osten in der Regierungszeit Kaiser Alexanders I (Siegen: J. G. Herder-Bibliothek, 1984), 101–34.

31 Leibbrandt, Georg, Die Auswanderung aus Schwaben nach Russland, 1816–1823: Ein schwäbisches Zeit- und Charakterbild (Stuttgart: Ausland und Heimat Verlags-Uktiengesellschaft, 1928); Petri, Hans, “Schwäbische Chiliasten in Südrussland,” Kirche im Osten 5 (1962): 7597; Tuchtenhagen, Ralph, “Religiöser Dissens, Staat und Auswanderung nach Osteuropa im 18 und frühen 19. Jahrhundert,” in Migration nach Ost- und Südosteuropa vom 18. bis zum Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts: Ursachen, Formen, Verlauf, Ergebnis, ed. Beer, Mathias and Dahlmann, Dittmar (Stuttgart: Thorbecke, 1999), 151–57; Brandes, Detlef, Von den Zaren adoptiert: Die deutschen Kolonisten und die Balkansiedler in Neurussland und Bessarabien, 1715–1914 (Munich: Oldenburg, 1993), 94; Gestrich, Andreas, “German Religious Emigration to Russia in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries,” in In Search of Peace and Prosperity: New German Settlements in Eighteenth-Century Europe and America, ed. Lehmann, Hartmut, Wellenreuther, Hermann, and Wilson, Renate (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), 7798; Pinkerton, Robert, Russia or Miscellaneous Observations on the Past and Present State of that Country and Its Inhabitants (London: Hatchard and Son, 1833), 144–52; Rudometkin, Maksim Gavrilovich, Utrenniaia zvezda. Izrechenie Maksima Gavrilovicha Rudometkina. Byl v zatochenii v Solovetskom monastyre i Suzdol'skom monostyre [sic], v 1858 godu 12 sentiabria. Zhitel' sel. Nikitino, Aleksandropol'skogo Uezda Erevanskoi Guber. Vypisyk slov iz Knigi pamiati, nebesnogo zhurnala, Amin', Alliluia (Los Angeles: Tipografiia T-va Raduga v Amerike pod Tipografiei V.P. Shanin i V. I. Kobzin, 1915), 119.

32 Varadinov, Istoriia, 8:345; Samarin, , “Ocherk religii,” in Bozhestvennyia izrecheniia (1928), 4748; Sokolov, Luk'ian Petrov, “Pis'ma Luk'iana Petrovicha,” in Bozhestvennyia izrecheniia (1928), 6775.

33 Klibanov, Aleksandr Il'ich, “K kharakteristike ideinykh dvizhenii v srede gosudarstvennykh i udel'nykh krest'ian v pervoi treti XIX v.,” in Iz istorii ekonomicheskoi i obshchestvennoi zhizni Rossii: Sbornik statei k 90-letiiu akad. Nikolaia Mikhailovicha Druzhinina, ed. Cherepnin, Lev Vladimirovich (Moscow: Nauka, 1976), 161–62; Klibanov, , Narodnaia sotsial'naia utopiia v Rossii, 2 vols. (Moscow: Nauka 1977–1978), 2:37. Many other Molokan prophets and leaders were deeply influenced by Jung-Stilling's millennial vision and his mystical writings. See Khitrov, Georgii, Istoriko-statisticheskoe opisanie Tambovskoi eparkhii (Tambov: Tip. K.I. Zakrzhevskago, 1861), 214. Jung-Stilling continues to maintain a powerful hold on the Molokan imagination: in 2002, Daniel Shubin, an American Molokan, translated Aleksandr Labzin's 1806 Russian translation (Ugroz svetovostokov) of Jung-Stilling's, Der graue Mann: Eine Volkschrift (Nuremburg: Raw'schen, 1795) into English as Menace Eastern-Light: The Man in the Grey Suit (Bloomington, Ind.: Xlibris, 2002). John Berokoff also notes that many Molokans regarded Jung-Stilling's work as prophetic. Molokans in America, 92.

34 Geertz, Clifford, “Religion as a Cultural System,” in Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion, ed. Banton, Michael (New York: F. A. Praeger, 1966), 146.

35 Samarin, “Ocherk religii,” 48–49. A quite different account, recorded in 1910, holds that Bulgakov deserted, fled to the Caucasus, and managed to get a Turkish passport from the Ottomans. Kuz'min, Mikhail Mikhailovich, “Davyd Iesseich syn Iesseev (Dukhovnyi vozhd' zakavkazskikh dukhovnykh khristian),” Dukhovnyi khristianin 5, no. 10 (October 1910): 7577.

36 In 1918, Elisavetpol' was renamed Ganja.

37 Still an important Molokan center, Nikitino is now called Fioletovo, in honor of the Bolshevik commissar Ivan Timofeevich Fioletov of Baku, Kozlova, Azerbaijan. K. I., “Izmeneniia v religioznoi zhizni i deiatel'nosti molokanskikh obshchin,” Voprosy nauchnogo ateizma 2 (1966): 305–21.

38 I.V. Dolzhenko, “Religioznyi i kul'turno-bytovoi uklad russkikh krest'ian-sektantov vostochnoi Armenii (XIX-nachalo XX vv.),” in Dukhobortsy i molokane v zakavkaz'e, 13–14; idem, Pervye russkie pereselentsy v Armenii (30–50-e gody XIX v.)Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, seriia 8: Istoriia, no. 5 (1974): 59.

39 Dingelshtedt, Nikolai, Zakavkazskie sektanty v ikh semeinom i religioznom bytu (St. Petersburg: Tipografiia M. M. Stasiulevicha, 1885), 61.

40 Wren, A. F., True Believers : Prisoners for Conscience : A History of Molokan Conscientious Objectors in World War One : The Absolutists of Arizona : “You Shall not Lose One Hair on Your Head” ([Australia?]: A. F. Wren, 1991), 1820.

41 Wren, True Believers, 20; Selections from the Book of Spirit and Life: Including the Book of Prayers and Songs, ed. and trans. Berokoff, J. K. (Whittier, Calif.: Stockton Trade, 1966), 18.

42 Moore, Willard B., Molokan Oral Tradition: Legends and Memorates of an Ethnic Sect (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 13; Young, Pauline V., Pilgrims of Russian-town: The Community of Spiritual Christian Jumpers in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932; repr., New York: Russell and Russell, 1967), 42.

43 Rudometkin, Maksim Gavrilovich, “Bogodukhnovennye izrecheniia Maksima Gavrilovicha Rudometkina, tsaria dukhov i vozhdia Sionskogo naroda dukhovnykh khristian molokan prygunov,” in Bozhestvennyia izrecheniia (1928), 250, 3:18:12.

44 Ibid., 201, 1:33:1; p. 239, 3:7:13.

45 Ibid., 227, 2:19:1.

46 Ibid., 451, 9:2:1.

47 Ibid., 9:2:4.

48 Ibid., 278–79, 4:6:16.

49 Ibid., 228, 2:19:7.

50 Nikitina, Serafima, “Sotvorenie mira i kontsept iskhoda/pokhoda v kul'ture molokan-prygunov,” in Ot bytiia k iskhodu. Otrazhenie bibleiskikh siuzhetov v slavianskoi i evreiskoi narodnoi kul'ture: sbornik statei, ed. Petrukhin, V. Ia., Akadamicheskaia seriia 2 (Moscow: GEOS, 1998), 220–30.

51 Breyfogle, Nicholas B., “Swords into Plowshares: Opposition to Military Service among Religious Sectarians, 1770s to 1874,” in The Military and Society in Russia, 1450–1917, ed. Lohr, Eric and Poe, Marshall, History of Warfare 14 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 48.

52 Young, Pilgrims, 12; Pokhod s Zakavkaza i Zakaspiia v Ameriku v ‘ubezhishche,’” in Bozhestvennye izrecheniia (1928), 748–50.

53 Young, Pilgrims, 242.

54 Semenov, Ivan Iakovlevich, Istoriia zakavkazskikh molokan i dukhoborov (Erevan: I. Ia. Semenov, 2001), 7485.

55 “Pokhod,” 752. Vil'chur, Mark Efimovich, Russkie v Amerike (New York: Izd. Pervogo russkogo izdatel'stva v Amerike, 1918), 4651.

56 Samarin, Ivan Gur'evich, “Pereselenie dukhovnykh khristian v Ameriku po otkroveniiu,” Dukhovnyi khristianin 4, no. 2 (February 1909): 50. Samarin notes that the decision to emigrate was highly controversial, with some prophets supporting and others rejecting the move.

57 Rudometkin, Maksim Gavrilovich, Izrechenie Maksima Gavrilovicha Rudometkina (Los Angeles: Izdanie Molokanskoi kolonii, 1910), 9.

58 Berokoff, Molokans in America, 55–62; Speek, Peter A., A Stake in the Land (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1921), 2431; Sydney R. Story, “Spiritual Christians in Mexico: Profile of a Russian Village” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1960); John S. Dewey, “The Colonia Rusa of Guadalupe Valley, Baja California: A Study of Settlement Competition and Change” (master's thesis, California State College, Los Angeles, 1966); Therese A. Muranaka, “The Russian Molokan Colony at Guadalupe, Baja California: Continuity and Change in a Sectarian Community” (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 1992); Nitoburg, Eduard L'vovich, “Molokane v Amerike,” SShA: Ekonomika, politika, istoriia, no. 10 (1997): 83; Khisamutdinov, Amir Aleksandrovich, “Russkie, ischesnuvshie na Gavaiiakh,” SShA: Ekonomika, politika, istoriia, no. 1 (2005): 7186; Bowen, Marshall, “Two Russian Molokan Agricultural Villages in the Intermountain West,” Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 68 (2006): 5378.

59 Abbitt, Jerry W. and Schauberger, Shelly L., “Variety of Ethnic Groups Helped Develop Glendale,” Arizona Republic, 12 June 1992.

60 Sylvia Bender, “The Cultural Landscape of the Russian Molokan Colony—Glendale, Arizona,” 1976, unpublished manuscript, Arizona Historical Foundation, 11.

61 Wren, True Believers, 12.

62 “Valley Sugar Beet Bust Recalled,” Arizona Republic, 18 April 1963; Bender, “Cultural Landscape,” 15; Hazel Tompkins, “Russian Immigration in the Salt River Valley,” 1917, unpublished typescript, Arizona Historical Foundation, Arizona State University; Speek, A Stake in the Land, 30–31.

63 Alex J. Valoff claimed that Tolmachev's wife, Mariia Filippovna Novikova, was Rudometkin's niece, and this family connection eventually made him the caretaker of the sacred writings. According to another Molokan genealogy, Aleksei Sergeevich Tolmachev's mother, Tat'iana Arkhipovna Sukovitsyna, was Maksim's niece (Fae Veronin, Molokans in Arizona [n.p., 1999], 32–33).

64 Wren, True Believers, 15–16.

65 Rudometkin, Utrenniaia zvezda; Young, Pilgrims, 279; Wren, True Believers, 15–16; Veronin, Molokans, 31–32. A separate edition of Rudometkin's writings was also published in 1915 under the title Kamen' Gorlion: Bogoslovskiia izrecheniia Maksima Gavrilovicha Rudometkina, Vozhdia Sionskogo Naroda Zakavkazskikh Dukhovnykh Khristian-Prygunov, ed. Samarin, Ivan Gur'evich (Los Angeles: Dukh i zhizn', 1915).

66 Wren, True Believers, 21. On the meaning and practice of zhertva among the Molokans, see Dingelshtedt, Zakavkazskie sektanty, 158–83.

67 Wren, True Believers, 21.

68 Ibid., 22–23. Some Molokan-Jumpers continued to pose for pictures, however, as many surviving photographs from the 1910s and 1920s show. S. V. Geiman, Tipy russkikh kolonistov v S. Sh.S.A.: Sektanty, fermera, rybaki, uglekopy, i dr.; albom fotograficheskikh snimkov (n.p., [191_?]), available from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery,; Fae Papin Veronin, Molokans in Arizona (n.p., 1999); Veronin, Lukian and Fenya Conovaloff Family Tree (n.p., 2009), 7.

69 Moore, Molokan Oral Tradition, 50. Mokhov was a person of considerable prestige who had petitioned the tsar to grant Molokans exemption from military service and later, in 1904, had through his prophecies encouraged his co-religionists to emigrate. Mohoff, George W., The Russian Colony of Guadalupe: Molokans in Mexico (Montebello, Calif.: George W. Mohoff, 1993), 3.

70 The Glendale Molokans apparently did not receive this particular prohibition, for at his court-martial on November 21, 1918, Ivan Vasil'evich Kulikov (John Kulikoff) wore leather shoes and explained that the Holy Spirit “does not say anything about shoes. When he tells me to take off shoes, I will take the shoes off too.” William Haas Moore, “Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Story of the Molokans in World War I” (master's thesis, Arizona State University, 1972), 72.

71 Wren, True Believers, 25–27.

72 Breyfogle, Heretics, 217–18. Mikhail Pivovarov admired the Dukhobors' radical pacifism, and the ritual burning of arms seems to be a conscious imitation of the 1895 protest on a much smaller scale. Dunn, Ethel, “American Molokans and Canadian Dukhobors: Economic Position and Ethnic Identity,” in Ethnicity in the Americas, ed. Henry, Frances S. (Chicago: Aldine, 1976), 105.

73 Wren, True Believers, 28.

74 Uren's surname is also spelled Iurin. “Slovo bozhestvennogo razuma,” in Bozhestvennye izrecheniia nastavnikov i stradal'tsev za slovo bozhie, veru Iisusa i dukh sviatoi religii dukhovnykh khristian molokan-prygunov, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: Dukh i zhizn', 1947), 757; Kathy Popoff, “A Descriptive Study of the Russian Molokan Community of Glendale, Arizona” (bachelor's thesis, Arizona State University, 1971), 27.

75 Wren, True Believers, 30.

76 Ibid., 28–31; Molokans Will Go to Jail Rather than Go to War,” Arizona Gazette, 26 July 1917.

77 Klibanov, Narodnaia sotsial'naia utopia, 2:140–210.

78 Wren, True Believers, 32–39.

79 Berokoff, Molokans in America, chap. 3; Deliara Ibragim-kyzy Ismail-zade, , Russkoe krest'ianstvo v zakavkaz'e, 30e gody XIX – nachalo XX v. (Moscow: Nauka, 1982), 295, 299.

80 Moore, Molokan Oral Tradition, 22.

81 Veronin, Molokans, 19.

82 Coffman, Edward M., The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986), 2729, 74–76.

83 Wren, True Believers, 41.

84 Ibid., 42–43.

85 Glendale Molokans Decline,” Arizona Republican, 6 June 1917.

86 Will Swear Out Warrants for Molokanas in County: Russian Members of Religious Sect, Who Refused Yesterday to Register, Must Answer to the Law,” Arizona Gazette, 6 June 1917.

87 “Glendale Molokans Decline.”

88 Byrkit, James W., Forging the Copper Collar: Arizona's Labor-Management War of 1901–1921 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1982), 8992; Goff, John S., George W. P. Hunt and His Arizona (Pasadena, Calif.: Socio Technical Publications, 1973), 9597.

89 Molokanas Maintain Registering Is an Act of War on Their Part,” Arizona Gazette, 7 June 1917; Gives Molokanas One More Chance,” Arizona Gazette, 8 June 1917.

90 Jail for the Anti-War Russians,” Arizona Republican, 10 June 1917.

91 Molokanas in Jail Worship Fervently to the Annoyance of Other Prisoners,” Arizona Gazette, 11 June 1917. Compare this to the positive reports when the Molokans first settled in Glendale in 1911: Many Settlers on Their Way to Glendale,” Arizona Gazette, 30 August 1911; Russian Colonists Find in Salt River Valley an Ideal Place to Make Their Homes and Till the Soil,” Arizona Gazette, 8 September 1911; Arizona Satisfies Russian Colonists,” Arizona Republican, 13 September 1911.

92 Fifty Slackers Will Face Court Here Tomorrow,” Arizona Gazette, 30 July 1917.

93 Soldiers Rout Butte Rioters,” New York Times, 5 June 1917, p. 1.

94 Jail for Anti-War Russians,” Arizona Republican, 10 June 1917.

95 Trial of Molokanas for Slackering Goes on Today,” Arizona Gazette, 7 August 1917.

96 Only Blessed Bread for a Holy Jumper,” Prescott Journal Miner, 10 August 1917.

97 Wren, True Believers, 89–90.

98 Ibid., 100–101.

99 Russians Refusing All Food,” Arizona Republican, 19 October 1917.

100 Wren, True Believers, 104–5.

101 Ibid., 105.

102 Ibid.

103 Kellogg, Walter Guest, The Conscientious Objector (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1919), 48.

104 Political Prisoners in Federal Military Prisons (New York: National Civil Liberties Bureau, 1918), 14.

105 Moore, “Prisoners,” 84; Wren, True Believers, 162–63.

Research for this article was supported by the Pew Evangelical Scholars Initiative, by seed grants from the Institute for Humanities Research and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University, and by the International Research and Exchanges Board with funds provided by the U.S. Department of State. I would like to express my appreciation to Andrew Conovaloff, who has generously shared his personal library and papers with me and who maintains an excellent website devoted to Molokan history (, and to the Monks of Hilandar Monastery and the Hilandar Research Library of Ohio State University. I alone am responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation in this article.

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Church History
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