Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/12

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CHRISTIAN MARTYRDOM IN RUSSIA

 

 

I

THE SPIRIT-WRESTLERS


A terrrible cruelty is now being perpetrated in the Caucasus. More than four thousand people are suffering and dying from hunger, disease, exhaustion, blows, tortures, and other persecutions at the hands of the Russian authorities.

These suffering people are the Doukhobortsi (or "Spirit-Wrestlers") of the Caucasus. They are enduring persecution, because their religious convictions do not allow them to fulfil those demands of the State which are connected, directly or indirectly, with the killing of, or violence to, their fellow-men.


[Thus ran the introduction to an Appeal signed by Paul Birukoff, John Tregouboff, and Vladimir Tchertkoff, and issued in Russia 12th December 1896. The Appeal continues:—]