RASKOLNIKL ras-k&I'ms-kk or RASKOL NIKS (Russ., schismatics). The generic name applied to all those of the Greek faith who dis sent from the established Church in Russia, The name used by the Raskolniki themselves is Staroobryfuttsy (old ritualists) or Staroryertsy (old believers). The immediate occasion of schism was the correction of the old ec clesiastical books. In the first quarter of the sixteenth century Maksim, the Greek, be gan to revise them, but made -owe errors and was accused of heresy and impri-oned. The 'Hundred Chaptered Council' of 1550 undertook a correction by collating current translations, and not by comparing them with the Greek originals, and still more crept in and more dissatis faction was occasioned, In the middle of the sev enteenth century the Patriarch Nikon (q.v.) un dertook a new revision. llis predecessor, Joseph, had also corrected ecclesiastical books, and issued over 6000 copies. all containing the grossest mis takes. Nikon's opponents—and he had many, owing to hi- domineering spirit—now made the old revision a point of issue in their controversy with the patriarch. Prominent among them were the popes (priests) Lazar and Nikita. the deacon Fyodor. and especially the prutopope Avvakum, a man uncommonly well-read, and a forceful speaker. The ecclesiastical council convened on December 11-22. 1667. approved the decisions of the previous councils with regard to religious matters and books, and anathematized those dis agreeing with the council. The latter were now officially called Raskolniki, and from this time dates the rise of the raskol. host of the dissent er, were banished to remote monasteries, like that at Solofki on the White Sea. The Raskol niki kept up their objectionable propaganda from their of confinement, and after a -even years' siege the monastery at Solofki was taken in 1670, the rebellious monastics were punished without quarter, and in 1081 Avvakum was exe cuted. The anti-governmental spirit moved the Raskolniki to take a prominent part in the in surrections of the Streltsy (q.v.), and the Regent, Sofia. executed many of them in 1684.
About 1685 there came a split in the ranks of the Raskolniki. One faction considered a useless institution: these were called bc:puportsy (prie-tless). The other half argued that they were the of the old faith against the of Antichrist. and therefore priests were necessary for the struggle: these were the poportsy (priest party). Nikon had been declared the Antichrist, as the correction of books in 1606 (= 1000 600) , according to apocalyptic calculations, coincided with the ex pected appearance of the Antichrist and the end of the world was due three years later, a date afterwards changed to 1702. After 1702, the Raskolniki turned to the internal arrangement of their Church, and then the division into the two factions mentioned above was consummated. Looking upon the Czar Antichrist, they con sidered it a crime to pray for him, and everything anti-Czarist enlisted their sympathy. They were very active in the Pugatchett rebellion in the lat ter half of the eighteenth century. A curious feature of the movement is the frequent occur rence of suicide among the Raskolniki. The doc trine took its rise in Avvakum's preaching of :scorn for death and laudations of martyrdom. In the District of Poshekhonye (Government of Yaro-lav 1 as many 1920 persons burned themselves during 1070-93, and in all about A_0, 000 people destroyed themselves up to 1090. As late as 1860 fifteen persons burned themselves in the Olonets Government, and in 1S97 a number died immured in a cellar.
The Government dealt severely with the Raskol niki from the outset, the law of April 17, 1685, prescribing death, almost without exception, to those persevering in the schism or assisting its adherents. In 1716 they were permitted to settle in cities on the payment of a double tax, but were not permitted to appear as witnesses against orthodox persons. The successors of Peter I. in
creased the severity of the enactments against them. In 1752 labels were required on their dress as a distinguishing mark. In 1768 and 1778 ukases forbade the building of churches and chapels and the use of hells. From 1769 on they could again appear as witnesses in court, the double tax was removed in 1782, and the follow ing year the name Raskolniki was discontinued in official documents. Under Paul I. (1796-1801) their lot grew worse, and under Alexander I., in 1803, the word Raskolniki reappears in State papers. They are officially subdivided into three classes: I. Most obnoxious: (1) the Ju daizers; (2) the Slolokani (q.v.), who recognize no authority and object to taking oaths ; ( 3) Duk hobortsy (q.v.), a variety of the preceding; (4) the Khlystovtsy. who introduce antlu•opolatry; ( 5) the Skoptsy (q.v.), enemies of society, and blasphemous as deriving their sect from Christ; (6) those Bezpopovtsy who oppose marriage and praying for the Czar. II. Obnoxious: the Bezpo povtsy who recognize marriage and pray for the Czar: these are harmful as being against priests and the Eucharist, and also on account of their democratic teachings. III. Least obnoxious: the Popovtsy, rather schismatics than heretics, as they keep most of the Church requirements and give most promise of reforming. Of the nine teen episcopal chairs among the 'old believers' thirteen are held by the Popovtsy, and only three by the Bezpopovtsy. In 1874, on account of the introduction of the universal military serv ice, a new marriage law was proclaimed for the Raskolniki: the marriages were henceforth to be recorded by police officials, and the issue were considered legitimate. After numerous petitions presented in 1880-81, came the law of May 3, 1883, which brought considerable relief to the schismatics. Passports were now given to all Raskolniki, with the exception of the Skoptsy; they were free to engage in trade and occupy offi cial posts, to perform divine service publicly, in private or special buildings, and to rebuild old churches, provided they are of an appearance dis tinct from the orthodox places of worship. Some other minor liberties were also granted, and law ful prosecution could he instituted against them for active propaganda only.
Among the distinguishing features common to all sects of the Raskolniki may be mentioned ; the manner of crossing themselves with the first and middle finger; use of nnrevised service-books; two-fold repetition of hallelujah; turning in church ceremonies "in the direction of the sun's movement," i.e. from left to right and not from right to left use of seven instead of five altar breads in the eucharistic offering; use of ancient icons and eight-pointed cross. Their predilection for everything antique appears in their use of the old Russian costume, and scrupulous objec tion to cutting their hair or shaving their beards. In general the Raskolniki are counted among the most industrious, sober, and intelligent elements of the Russian population. As to their numbers a serious divergence of statistical data seems to be the rule; many Raskolniki conceal their faith before the magistrates, and even of those regis tered the governmental reports give only a small fraction, for fear of increasing their popularity with the masses. Thus, e.g. when the official re turns in 1870 gave their number as 1,171,000, the foreign newspapers, on the basis of the secret governmental documents, gave a figure almost ten times as high. On this basis, says the Rus sian Encyclopaedia, one can approximately guess their total number, when the report of the Holy Synod for 1893 places them a little below 2.000, 000. Consult Strahl, BeitrY qr zur russischen Kirehengesehichte, vol. i. 1827) ; Embach, Russische Sektierer (Heilbronn, 1883) ; Heard, The Russian Church and Russian Dissent (New York, 1887).