Martyrdom, in early Christian times, already appealed to believers intent on doing great things for Christ. The early Christians venerated martyrs, the dates of whose executions grew into a calendar of saints, and wearing a martyrs' halo is still extremely popular. But martyr's halos do not come in the mail.
A great amount of persecution faced by Christians today results not from what they believe, but from what they own, and from where they come. Missionaries in poor countries lose their possessions, and sometimes their lives, because people associate them with foreign wealth.
Other "martyrs" lose their lives in political conflict. But does having our vehicles and cameras stolen, our children kidnapped, or being killed for political "correctness," assure that we have "witnessed for Jesus" (martyr means witness, Rev. 6:9, 12:17, and 19:10)?
Real martyrs for Christ do not wear halos. They only carry crosses. Most people, even Christians, quickly discredit and forget these martyrs. Real martyrs suffer persecution, not like "great heroes of the faith" but like eccentrics and fools. Ordinary people usually consider them fanatics. Does that disappoint or alarm you?
Do not worry. Reading this book about Russia's "underground" believers will assure you that if you are a typical Western Christian you will never face persecution. You will never have to be a real martyr for Christ.
Only if you are not typical - if you choose to be a "weed that floats upstream" - you may want to know the secret by which Russian Christianity survived through a thousand years of suffering.
"True to the spirit of Russia's believers, this work gives a colorful and detailed description of faith 'underground.' But what makes it unique is the author's penetration of the soul of Russian belief — in so many ways dissimilar to western belief in God." —Leonid Maslennikov, Russian professor, James Madison University
"Westerners have become increasingly aware of the Russian people's deep roots in Eastern Orthodoxy. The Russians' Secret introduces us to 'another' side of Russian Christianity not as well known in the West, the 'little traditions' of sectarian, mystical, and evangelical faith that have always existed alongside the official Orthodox church. This book, written for the general reader, offers a sweeping and detailed view of those radical Christian movements without stooping to superficiality." — William Rushby, member, Rockingham Meeting of Conservative Friends and independent scholar.
There are two other books by Peter Hoover on the online books page.
Acknowledgements and Dedication
Chapter 1. Speaking Without a Tongue
Chapter 2. Snow, Fire, and Gold
Chapter 3. Old Russia--Its Heart and Soul
Chapter 4. Not With Observation
Chapter 5. Christ Victorious
Chapter 6. With Him
Chapter 7. The Antichrist
Chapter 8. Nonconformity
Chapter 9. Nemtsy
Chapter 10. Bread and Salt
Chapter 11. Mysteries and Miracles
Chapter 12. Salt and Light
Chapter 13. An Explosion
Chapter 14. Ivan
Chapter 15. Christ in Camouflage
Chapter 16. The Kingdom Within
Chapter 17. A Rainbow
Chapter 18. The Lion and The Bear
Chapter 19. Red Sky at Sundown
Chapter 20. Risen and Forever Alive
Chapter 21. The Pilgrim's Way
Chapter 22. Survival
Note on Names
Cover illustration: the line drawing of a Stundist meeting was drawn by Lana Martin
This book is not copyrighted and no publisher shall do so. No rights are reserved. All parts of it may be reproduced in any form or by any means for the cause of Christ. But before reprinting it, please contact the present publisher if possible. The need for corrections or revisions to the text may have become apparent.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless included as part of translated quotes from German text. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
This book was first published on the Internet on October 15, 2005. Please check back for updates as improvements are planned.
Here is a 639 KB PDF of the book: Trs.pdf . Please check back for updates as improvements are planned. The PDF was last updated Jan. 28, 2006.
Another copy of this book is available here: Molokans Around the World
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