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(Russian, ‘Spirit-fighters’). A Russian sect of uncertain origin. It seems to have arisen among the peasants in the district of Kharkov c.1740. The Doukhobors came into conflict with the Russian government, and most of them migrated to Cyprus or Canada; here, after various upheavals, the majority were organized in 1938 into the Union of Spiritual Communities in Christ, also known as the Orthodox Doukhobors. Those who remained in Russia continued to suffer persecution. The Doukhobors believe that God is present in all human beings, who are thus equal, and that Christ was one of a succession of inspired leaders; they reject the Bible, sacraments, and Christian dogma.

Subjects: Christianity.

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