Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/61

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50
MILITARY PRISONERS
 
 
 
 

IV

MILITARY PRISONERS LEBEDEFF AND COMPANIONS

 

As has been stated, the recent persecutions of Spirit-Wrestlers commenced in 1895, immediately on the revival among them of ancient principles and practice.

The first to suffer were Matthew Lebedeff and eleven other soldiers, who had given way after the universal conscription in 1887, and for a time outwardly submitted to enter the military service. When conviction wrought upon them, and they openly renounced the position into which they had reluctantly, in time of weakness, been dragged, the persecution which fell upon them was more severe than that which came upon those who were called out for the first time.

They were judged by court-martial, and condemned to confinement in the Ekaterinograd penal battalion, where, according to the regulations, they were expected every day and hour to comply with