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Bespopovtsy (Russian: Безпоповцы, "priestless") is one of the two major strains of Old Believers, the one that rejects priests and a number of church rites, such as the Eucharist. The reasoning behind this is a belief that any priest or hierarch who has used the Nikonian Rites has forfeited Apostolic Succession.
Bespopovtsy are Old Believers that reject Nikonian priests, however, they still believe in the existence of a Priesthood; but happen to find themselves without priests. Historically the Bespopovtsy have received Nikonian priests that have publicly repented from the reforms of Patriarch Nikon.
- Popovtsy, another major strain of Old Believers, the ones who accept priests.
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