Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/19

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to the traditions left them by their fathers. They renounced tobacco, wine, meat, and every kind of excess, divided up all their property (thus supplying the needs of those who were then in want), and they collected a new public fund.

In connection with this return to a strictly Christian life, they also renounced all participation in acts of violence, and therefore refused military service.

In confirmation of the sincerity of their decision not to use violence even for their own defence, in the summer of 1895 the Spirit-Wrestlers of the "Great Party," as they were called, burnt all their arms which they, like all the inhabitants of the Caucasus, kept for their protection, and those who were in the army refused to continue service. By general resolution they fixed on the night of 28 th June for the purpose of burning their arms, which were their own property and therefore at their absolute disposal. This holocaust was accompanied by the singing of psalms, and was carried out simultaneously in three places, namely:—in the governments of Tiflis and Elisavetpol and in the territory of Kars. In the latter district it passed off without interference; in the government of Elisavetpol it resulted in the imprisonment of forty Spirit- Wrestlers, who are still in confinement; while in the government of Tiflis the action taken