Little Christians

Little Christians is the name of a new sect, composed of members lately (1868) seceded from the Russo-Greek Church at Atkarsk, in the province of Saratof, and diocese of the bishop of Tsaritzin. The seceders from the orthodox Church, or founders of this new sect, were only sixteen persons in number. "They set up a new religion, and began to preach a gospel of their own devising." They condemned saints and altarpieces as idolatrous, and abandoned the use of bread and wine in the sacrament. Before they founded the new Church, which, they claim, Christ commanded them to do, they were immersed, and also fasted and changed their names. "They have no priests, and hardly any form of prayer. They keep no images, use no wafers, and make no sacred oil. Instead of the consecrated bread, they bake a cake, which they afterwards worship, as a special gift from God. This cake is like a penny bun in shape and size, but in the minds of these Little Christians it possesses a potent virtue and a mystic charm" (Dixon, Free Russia, page 143, 144). The name they bear they gave themselves. Persecuted by the government, they have increased and are daily increasing in numbers. SEE RUSSIA. (J.H.W.)

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