Evangelical Christians


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Evangelical Christians

 

(evangel’skie khristiane), a Protestant Christian sect of Western European origin, close in teaching to the Baptists. In Russia since the late 19th century, they have been known as Redstockists (Redstokitsy), after Lord G. Redstock, who proselytized among the St. Petersburg aristocracy, or Pashkovtsy, after the wealthy philanthropist Colonel V. A. Pashkov.

Relying more heavily on the New Testament than do the Baptists, the Evangelical Christians hold that all believing in the gospel, not just an elect, can be “saved” and that each man is free to choose the path to “salvation.” From its beginning, the sect sought to appear as a representative of the interests of the working masses. Various journals were published at different times under its auspices, including Russkii rabochii (Russian Worker), Beseda (Conversation), and SeiateV (The Sower). During the Revolution of 1905-07, the pro-cadet orientation of its leadership was quite clear. After the February Revolution of 1917, it organized the so-called Voskresenie (Resurrection) Party. Refusing to accept the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Evangelical Christian leadership called for an alternative, religious “revolution of the spirit.” In the mid-1920’s, however, the group came over to a loyal position with regard to Soviet power. In 1944 it merged with the Baptists to form the Church of Evangelical Christians and Baptists.

REFERENCES

Klibanov, A. I. Istoriia religioznogo sektantstva v Rossii (60-e gody XIX v.-1917 g.). Moscow, 1965.
Klibanov, A. I. Religioznoe sektantstvo i sovremennost’. Moscow, 1969.
Mitrokhin, L. N. Baptizm. Moscow, 1966.

IU. B. PISHCHIK

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