Bespopovtsy (Russian: Безпоповцы, IPA: [bʲɪspɐˈpoft͡sɨ], "priestless ones") are Priestless Old Believers that reject Nikonian priests. They are one of the two major strains of Old Believers.

Priestless Old Believers were Russia's may have evolved into the first Spiritual Christians which were divided into various and diverse tribal sects including: Pomortsy, Fedoseyans, Filippians, Beguny ("Runners"), Netovtsy/Netovshchina, and many others. Some reject priests and a number of church rites, such as the Eucharist, believing that any priest or hierarch who has used the Nikonian Rites has forfeited apostolic succession. Others still believe in the existence of a priesthood, but happen to find themselves without priests. Many such sects have historically received Nikonian priests that have publicly repented from the reforms of Patriarch Nikon.


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  • Миловидов В. Ф. (2002). "Беспоповщина". Религии народов современной России: Словарь (2-е изд., испр. и доп 4000 экз ed.). М.: Республика. Ред-кол.: Мчедлов М. П. (отв. ред.), Аверьянов Ю. И., Басилов В. Н. и др. pp. 45–46. ISBN 5-250-01818-1.
  • Попов С. Н. (2007). "Типология (классификация) христианских церквей. (Русские староверы – старообрядцы или реформаторы?)" (сб. ст) (2) (Теология и религиоведение ed.). Барнаул: Изд-во Алт. ун-та. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

See also

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

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