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The Old Believers movement
Periodicals, 1905-1918
The series on the Old Believers provides a wide variety of materials that will help to shed new light on the fascinating history of this religious minority and its place in Russian history. The present installment includes the most prominent and widely read Old Believers’ periodicals published between 1905 and 1918. The collection includes, amongst others, journals of the Popovtsy ( Zlatostrui, Mirskaia zhizni), of the so-called Pomor´e Union ( Shchit very, Vestnik Vserossiĭ skogo soiuza khristian pomorskogo soglasiia), the Belokrinitskiĭ Hierarchy ( Tserkov’, Staroobriadcheskaia mysl’, Staroobriadets) and the Chapel Consent ( Ural´skiĭ staroobriadets). Published during one of the most dynamic and turbulent periods of Russian history, these periodicals allow us to appreciate the traditional, yet vibrant world of the Old Believers at the eve of the revolution.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
The Old Believers movement
Cyrillic-Script Books, 1906-1916
The printing of Old Believer books in kirillicheskiĭ shrift is a unique phenomenon in book history. The Old Believer movement carried on the traditions of Russian Orthodox Christianity into the middle of the 20th century. The Old Believer culture was outstanding in its rigorous acceptance of Cyrillic Church Slavonic texts, and in its guarded attitude toward the same texts printed in grazhdanskiĭ shrift, which were introduced by Peter I in 1708. The books printed in Cyrillic have therefore always been the main source of information concerning the history and spiritual faith of the Old Believers. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed an avalanche of printed Old Believer religious literature. This literature comprises a number of original monographs, titled books, and icon-painting originals, as well as reprinted anti-Old Believer pamphlets in krillicheskiĭ shrift bearing polemic comments written by Old Believer adepts.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
The Old Believers movement
Old Believer Secular Literature, 1906-1918
At the dawn of the 20th century, the Old Believers exhibited an amazing ability to adapt to the new social and economic conditions without abandoning their traditional culture or their religious beliefs. This period saw the birth and subsequent blossoming of the widely known business dynasties. One of the main driving forces behind the printing of books in grazhdanskiĭ shrift was the revival of the polemic disputes between the Old Believers and the official Church. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Old Believers printed their secular literature in grazhdanskiĭ shrift, in order to draw attention to their crucial need for a greater number of sympathizers from the outside.
The variety of this type of Old Believer literature is extensive, ranging from historical and ethnographic works, polemic and political essays, scholarly works on philosophy, economics, and statistics, to works on theology and law, the minutes of Old Believer assemblies, fiction, and even poetry.
The recourse by the Old Believers to grazhdanskiĭ shrift and their deliberate orientation toward the “outside” reader and secular themes, makes this literature both more accessible and richer in substance and variety of topics.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
Herbarium A. Van Royen (1704-1779)
Part 1

This collection is also included in the Herbarium A. Van Royen (1704-1779) collection.
Herbarium A. Van Royen (1704-1779)
Part 2: Supplement

This collection is also included in the Herbarium A. Van Royen (1704-1779) collection.
Programme to Combat Racism

Its origin
Since its inception, the WCC has taken a strong stance, namely that "any form of segregation based on race, color or ethnic origin is contrary to the gospel and is incompatible with the Christian doctrine of man and with the nature of the church of Christ" (WCC Evanston Assembly, 1954). But at its 1968 Uppsala Assembly, the delegates - many of whom were from third-world churches hitherto not represented at Assemblies - expressed themselves in more radical terms, demanding that the WCC move from words to action, and from giving charitable aid to victims to strengthening groups of the racially oppressed. Similarly, they felt that priority should be given to eliminating institutional racism, rather than concentrating on improving individual race relations.

Implications for South Africa
This change in emphasis was to have far-reaching consequences for the WCC's relations with South Africa. The situation in that country had raised a number of theological issues, for example, the meaning of "Christ is on the side of the oppressed," the nature of the church in terms of its oneness and diversity, its solidarity with the oppressed and its reconciling task, and structural violence in the context of church-state relationships.
The initial five-year programme concentrated on white racism in South Africa. Specific action included the setting up of a special fund, which was largely based on the need to symbolize a redistribution of power. It was a sign expressing something greater than itself, a sign intended to set something in motion. Its main purpose was to strengthen the organizational capability of racially oppressed groups.
The PCR's next move was on disinvestment by the WCC and its member churches. Its conviction was that Christians must not abdicate ethical responsibility for the outcome of economic policies. The impact of the foreign economic support provided to racist and apartheid structures was seen to involve moral decisions which should not be left to technicians alone. The decision by the WCC to sell forthwith existing holdings and to make no further investments in corporations involved in South Africa, and, later, to deposit none of its funds in banks which maintained direct banking relations in South Africa, sparked heated debates at church synods and assemblies. The WCC's example confronted the member churches with their own policies and responsibilities in this field.

A programme for the whole WCC
The issue of racism involved all units and sub-units of the WCC. Thus, the Faith and Order Commission co-sponsored a consultation on racism and theology, and the Education sub-unit co-sponsored a meeting on racism in school textbooks. The PCR also sponsored a number of important consultations between church and liberation movement leaders, which helped to chart the course of international church support for the struggle against apartheid.

Other forms of racism
With the end of apartheid in South Africa, the PCR shifted its attention to the struggle of indigenous peoples and the problem of land rights, as well as to the plight of racially and ethnically oppressed minorities around the world, such as the Dalits in India. It also developed a programme on women under racism, which was designed to give visibility to the issues and concerns of women who suffer from triple oppression, namely racism, sexism and classism.

Impact on churches and beyond
Since its inception, the PCR has been one of the most controversial of the WCC's initiatives. While there was strong support from many member churches, there was also criticism, especially about its boycott actions and its grants to liberation movements in South Africa.
One of the most important aspects of the programme has been its ability to mobilize local church and secular groups around the world, and to coordinate its activities with the worldwide anti-apartheid movement. As a result of its actions, the WCC has become more relevant to the majority of Christians and even to people of other faiths.

Baldwin Sjollema, First director of the WCC Programme to Combat Racism