Monday, June 28, 2010

Russian Quakers Hordes Head to US

According to Google Alerts that picked up an Associated Press report, a huge influx of Quakers from Russia are setting sail for the United States. And when I say huge, I mean HUGE -- 200,000.

This especially alarmed me because the Friends World Committee for Consultation lists only three Friends Meetings in Russia. They must have the Russian version of mega-churches over there (I'd better contact Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute about this -- he's the expert in mega-churches). So are they mega-Meetings?

In case you think I'm making this up, here's the report, direct from the Los Angeles Herald.

NEW YORK, Jan. 11.— Two hundred thousand Russian Quakers are coming to this country to establish a permanent colony near Los Angeles, according to P. A. Beamans, who claims to have been at one time a captain in one of the regiments composing the Russian Imperial guard.

The advance guard of the so-called Russian "Quakers" recently arrived in Los Angeles and it is reported that 15,000 of the sect are preparing to follow. If they come anywhere near deserving the name which is commonly given in America to the Society of Friends they will be welcome in Southern California.

I read closer and noticed that the issue of the Herald was dated January 12, 1905.

So I guess the number of Friends in the United States will not be doubling anytime soon. Which I guess is okay, since I don't speak Russian anyway.

до свидания (do svidaniya),


Martin Kelley said...

I can't resist a religious mystery like this. A little sleuthing turned up that it's the Molokans, a group that was often called the "Russian Quakers." In 1905 about 2000 of them did migrate to Los Angeles. If you have nothing better to do this week, there's an engrossingly fabulous website at that chronicles all of the different varieties of Molokans--their splits have much better names than ours and I'm a bit jealous.

Todd said...