Spiritual Christianity

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Spiritual Christianity (Russian: духовное христианство) often referred to in Russian inaccurately as Molokans (one of the groups it includes) is a type of religious thought among the sectarianism (sektanstvo) outside Russian Orthodoxy, with followers called spiritual Christians (Russian: духовные христиане).

Traditionally, the following sects are considered "spiritual Christians": Molokans, Subbotniks, Dukhobors, Khlysts, Skoptsy, and Ikonobortsy (Icon-fighters, "Iconoclasts"). These sects often have radically different notions of "spirituality". Their common denominator is that they sought God in "Spirit and Truth", (Gospel of John 4:24) rather than in the Church of official Orthodoxy or ancient rites of Old Believers. Their saying was "The church is not within logs, but within ribs".[citation needed]

Rejecting the official church, they considered their religious organization as a homogeneous community, without division into laymen and clergy.


  • Berdyaev, Nikolai. Spiritual Christianity and Sectarianism in Russia (Духовное христианство и сектантство в России), "Russkaya Mysl" ("Русская мысль", "Russian Thought"), 1916.

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