THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

Malkhaz Melkonyants to the edge of oikumen

2018. №1, pp. 135-143

Kanatyeva N.S. - Ph.D. (Biology), Assistant Professor, Astrakhan State University, 20a Tatishcheva Str., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation,

The article describes an episode from the amazing fate of a blind missionary sectarian of the second half of the 19th century. MalkhazMelkonyants, who preached on the territory of the Astrakhan province. Being a Turkish Armenian by birth, he was raised in a special school under the American evangelical mission, after which he went to the south of the Russian Empire to raise funds and neophytes. The choice of the place of preaching was determined by the excellent command of the Russian language, which Melkonyantsa was taught in the mission. Melkonyants visited the lands of the Don Army, in the Tauride, Stavropol and Saratov provinces, after which he went to the Astrakhan province, namely, to the center of Molokan sectarianism in the village of. Prishib Tsar's uyezd. The preaching of Melkonyants was a great success, not only among the Molokans, but also Subbotniks. By this time in Astrakhan and the province there already existed a missionary Cyril and Methodius society, whose work was directed against so-called schismatics, or Old Believers, and sectarians, primarily against Molokans, as the most numerous. The missionary priests, both local and arrived from provincial Astrakhan, conducted a skillful opposition to Melkonyants, in alliance with local "prophets" and representatives of local sectarians who came from the Crimea and the Caucasus.

Key words: фронтирное пространство, фронтирмэны, сектанство, молоканство, миссионерство, внутренняя миссия, религиозные диспуты, frontier space, frontiermen, sectarianism, molokanstvo, missionary work, internal mission, religious disputes