a group of “spiritual Christians” (dukhovnye khristiane), a religious sect in Russia.

The sect of the Molokans evolved in Tambov Province in the late 18th century and then spread to a number of other regions of Russia. Its founder is considered to be Semen Uklein, originally a member of the Dukhobors. The Molokans rejected the church, the church hierarchy, fasting, icons, and the Eastern Orthodox ritual of worship. Their prayer meetings were held in houses of prayer, and the sect was led by presbyter-elders. Biblical texts were sung at prayer meetings.

The Molokan movement was one of the forms taken by the peasant anticlerical movement. It arose in the atmosphere of the growing crisis of the feudal serfholding system. The forms of worship showed Baptist influences. Having challenged the official church, the Molokans were persecuted by the tsarist government. A process of social stratification among the Molokans and the emergence of a wealthy elite and its usurpation of authority within the sect led to the corruption of the sect; a number of its members joined the Baptists. In the early 20th century, there were 1.2 million Molokans. The sect began to disintegrate after the October Revolution of 1917. Only small groups of Molokans remain in the USSR—in Transcaucasia, the Ukraine, and a few places in the RSFSR (such as Stavropol’ Krai and Tambov Oblast).


Druzhinin, V. Molokane. [Leningrad] 1930.
Bonch-Bruevich, V. D. “Sektantstvo i staroobriadnichestvo v pervoi polovine XIX v.” Izbr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.
Klibanov, A. I. Religioznoe sektantstvo i sovremennost’, Moscow, 1969.
Malakhova, I. A. Dukhovnye khristiane. Moscow, 1970.
References in periodicals archive ?
The park of the administrative district of Arabkir also known as Molokans park with a total area of 3 hectares has been returned to the community.
Due to a policy of methodical ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis, Turks, Kurds, Assyrians, Yezidis, Molokans, Greeks and Jews, Armenia has turned into a monoethnic state, where more than 99 percent of the population is made up of Armenians from various parts of the Middle East.
Instead, Geraldine Fagan introduces us to Russian Molokans, a homegrown form of Christianity.
Recall that Justice Iacobucci first asserted that subsection 2(a) protects those whose practices or beliefs were "objectively required by the religion." (80) This category protects members of an organized religion with a recognized record of objecting to the photograph requirement, such as the Amish, Molokans, and Hutterites.
By the end of the eighteenth century, Spiritual Christianity had split into two major branches, the Dukhobors and the Molokans, who were divided over the authority of the canonical scriptures.
Although the Reformation, which transformed the religious landscape through much of early modern Europe, did not come to Russia directly, the 18th century did see the emergence of various small groups (including the Khlysty, Skoptsy, Dukhobors, and Molokans) who questioned whether religious rites were necessary for spiritual fulfillment and, in the case of the Molokans, encouraged individual reading of the Bible (Russkii protestantizm, 21-22).
Although the faith was the same, he explained, "the nation and habits were different." "The Russian Baptists," he elaborated, "wanted to hold to many Molokan practices...." The Germans, by contrast, "wanted to toss out everything Russian and Molokan from the service and set up everything in the German manner...." (25) The former Molokans were not the only new Baptists who initially included aspects of their previous traditions in their services: the first converts in the Odessa area started out by singing Orthodox prayers and songs and retained many Orthodox tunes even after they had begun either to compose their own hymns or to borrow words and melodies from German ones.
Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Yezidis, an ethnic Kurd cultural group whose religion includes elements derived from Zoroastrianism, Islam, and animism; unspecified "charismatic" Christians; the Armenian Evangelical Church; Molokans, an ethnic Russian pacifist Christian group that split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th-century; Baptists; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons); Orthodox Christians; Seventh-day Adventists; Pentecostals; Jews; and Baha'is.
The Skoptsy, Khlysts, and Molokans, it is shown, enriched the development of the Shalaputs.
These were not only Orthodox Russians, but also Armenians fleeing the Ottoman empire, and even Protestants like the Molokans. By contrast, many Sunni Muslims emigrated from Russian-controlled Azerbaijan because of Russia's wars with the in the Ottoman Empire.
The third contribution on a Russian theme comes from Margarita Mazo, whose tracing of developments in the liturgical music of the Molokan Christian sect both in Russia and among the expatriate Molokans in the USA is only very loosely connected with the themes of this volume.
These include the Jehovah's Witnesses,(2) some Mennonite groups,(3) the Jehovites, the Elijah Voice Society, the Church of God, the Amish, the Christadelphians, and the Molokans.(4) The Jehovah's Witnesses (often called Witnesses) claim American adherents of almost 2 million,(5) the Christadelphians around 5,000,(6) Mennonites about 240,000,(7) the Amish close to 79,000, and the Jehovites over 600.(8)