For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
~snip~Slowly, over several visits, the full story of the family emerged. The old man's name was Karp Lykov, and he was an Old Believer—a member of a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox sect, worshiping in a style unchanged since the 17th century. Old Believers had been persecuted since the days of Peter the Great, and Lykov talked about it as though it had happened only yesterday; for him, Peter was a personal enemy and "the anti-Christ in human form"—a point he insisted had been amply proved by Tsar's campaign to modernize Russia by forcibly "chopping off the beards of Christians." But these centuries-old hatreds were conflated with more recent grievances; Karp was prone to complain in the same breath about a merchant who had refused to make a gift of 26 poods [940 pounds] of potatoes to the Old Believers sometime around 1900.I realized while I was reading this article that the attacks against Christianity in this country is doomed to failure. Sure there are plenty of fair weather Christians who will moderate their beliefs or even abandon them under the pressure of contemporary society. But there will also be those who will endure any hardship, any deprivation to live and worship as they please.
Things had only got worse for the Lykov family when the atheist Bolsheviks took power. Under the Soviets, isolated Old Believer communities that had fled to Siberia to escape persecution began to retreat ever further from civilization. During the purges of the 1930s, with Christianity itself under assault, a Communist patrol had shot Lykov's brother on the outskirts of their village while Lykov knelt working beside him. He had responded by scooping up his family and bolting into forest.~snip~
These people outlasted their oppressors.
No matter how long the decandent left will endure there will always be those who hold to their beliefs, and they will endure long after those who wish to deny us our rights to believe and worship as we please are long gone.