Duchowny (Spiritual), the name of a Russian sect which arose among the Duchowny Christiany, or Molokans, on the Caucasus, in the following manner. In the year 1833 a certain aged man came from Jerusalem to the Caucasus, and taught that he possessed the power of bringing down the Holy Spirit, and of bestowing new tongues. He proved his commission by teaching his nearest friends a song which he said was in the language of Jerusalem, and the sense of which could be comprehended only by those who had received the Holy Spirit. The principal founder of this sect was, however, Maksim Rudometkin Komar, who also organized congregations in the surrounding places among the Molokans, and enjoyed the highest estimation from them. The sect adopted the creed of the Molokans, with the following addition:
1. The Holy Spirit descends upon the elect either directly or indirectly by being breathed upon.
2. Jumping, shaking, contortions, etc., are infallible signs of the presence of the Spirit.
3. The swooning from exertion, and consequent unintelligible speaking, is considered as the new language, which none understand except the select, whose duty it is to explain the muttering of the enthusiasts.
4. The expectation of the near end of all things, and consequent inutility of labor beyond extreme necessity, is matter of faith.
5. The literalism of the holy Scriptures is assumed, even so far that Komar once, for the sake of punishing his followers for their slothfulness, went to the nearest mountain, pretending to ascend and to leave them alone; the mass of the people fell on their knees, and prayed him not to leave them, and promised to be obedient.
6. Repentance consists in the payment of such amounts of money as the leader estimates their sins to be worth, for which he grants indulgence in the shape of pieces of muslin on which are embroidered signs of mysterious signification. The Duchowny are found principally in the Caucasus, but almost every community of Molokans has a few of them among its members. SEE MOLOKANS.