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Bespopovtsy (Russian: Безпоповцы; IPA: [bʲɪspɐˈpoft͡sɨ], "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.

There are several confessions of them: Pomortsy, Fedoseyans, Filippians, Beguny ("Runners"), Netovtsy/Netovshchina, and many others.

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.

See also[edit]

  • Popovtsy, another major strain of Old Believers, the ones who accept priests.