(also Sapuny), a Christian sect in Russia. It originated in the first half of the 19th century within the Molokan sect in protest against domination by the elders. Its doctrine had a number of elements borrowed from the Khlysty. While assailing the monarchy and the official church, the Pryguny preached the coming “millennial reign of Christ” on earth for the “saved” and perdition for the rest of mankind. Prayer meetings were conducted in an atmosphere of extreme emotional excitement and religious exaltation. This fervor induced hysteria and hallucinations among the sect’s members, who were usually worn out by prayer and fasting, and was considered to be a sign of “communion with god.”
Before 1917, the Pryguny totaled about 1 million. During the years of Soviet power, the Pryguny sect has broken up. Scattered Pryguny groups still exist in the Azerbaijan SSR, Armenian SSR, and Ukrainian SSR, as well as in Rostov and Orenburg oblasts in the RSFSR. The Pryguny are often erroneously called Pentecostals.