Infrastructure of Chelyabinsk old believers (1905-1930)

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The history of the Chelyabinsk Old Believers became the object of research only in the 1990s, the specific conditions of the Old Believers’ living, their chasing affected the historical sources on the issue. As a result, a representative corpus of historical sources has not been formed at the local level, and the remaining traces of the activities of the Old Believers have to be reconstructed based on discrete traces. The modern revival of the parish life of Chelyabinsk Old Believer communities updates the declared scientific issue. The topic of the Chelyabinsk Old Believers has been poorly studied, there are studies associated with the Pomeranian Bespopovsky community, while the Chasovenny and Belokrinitsa creeds are not covered. The article reconstructs the Old Believer topography of Chelyabinsk in 1905-1930 based on archival documents: the location of preaching houses, a cemetery, and a skete of Old Believers in the city, the interior and exterior decoration of religious buildings. The process of formation, development, and loss of infrastructure of the Chelyabinsk Old Believers is investigated. The stages of development are highlighted: 1) the end of the 1880s - 1908 is the initial stage of the infrastructure formation, when the first houses of worship were legalized and built, a cemetery was opened, communities were registered; 2) the period of 1909-1917 is the stage of the internal and external decoration of churches, a short period of peaceful existence of the Old Believers in the city; 3) the period of 1918-1930 is the stage of the Old Believers infrastructure and church inventory degradation during the anti-religious policy. The Chelyabinsk Old Believers infrastructure was located on the outskirts of the city or in its vicinity. The religious buildings of the Chelyabinsk Old Believers have not survived.


Preaching house, monastery, old believers, repression, anti-religious policy, chelyabinsk

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IDR: 147235310   |   DOI: 10.14529/ssh210304

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