Doukhobor Migration to Canada - Grand Forks, British Columbia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 02.443 W 118° 29.015
11U E 391577 N 5433042
Quick Description: The Outlook Khristovoye Cemetery is west from Grand Forks. From Hwy. 3 turn north on North Fork Road for approximately 5 km. turn left on London Road and continue 1 km to cemetery.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/31/2014 5:57:41 AM
Waymark Code: WMMRWJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Doukhobor movement arose in the 18th century when many Russian Christians banded together to further their particular Christian beliefs. The Doukhobors rejected the literal teachings of the Bible and, as well, the need for an organized church, instead looking inside themselves for the guidance they sought. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Czarist authorities considered this a threat to the authority of the church, and so began to persecute the Doukhobors. This persecution peaked in the late nineteenth century when they adopted pacifism and renounced militarism. Tsar Nicholas II, the reigning Tsar at the time, had many Doukhobors exiled to Siberia and the Caucasus, most notably their then leader, Peter Verigin. Those who refused military service were imprisoned while others suffered beatings or imprisonment for their beliefs.

Their plight came to the attention of a few notable Russian citizens, in particular Leo Tolstoy, as well as Quakers sympathetic to their situation. Together, these groups helped the Doukhobors in emigrating to Canada, a country then attempting to attract immigrants to settle newly opened prairie lands.

In Canada, in spite of eventual troubles with the Canadian government, the Doukhobors prospered, building many "agro-industrial" settlements, first in Saskatchewan, then later in Alberta and British Columbia.

A short excerpt from the Doukhobor USCC (Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ) website, followed by the text from the plaque:

Some 7500 Doukhobors, nearly a third of the total existing population, settled on the Canadian prairies in the early 1900s, establishing dozens of communal village settlements on government granted homesteads in what is now the province of Saskatchewan. Confronted with an apparent breach of agreement by the Canadian government in terms of homestead requirements and allegiance to the crown, a great proportion of these Doukhobors chose on principle, to abandon their villages and nearly a quarter million acres of their cultivated land. Almost 6000 emigrated to British Columbia in 1908 to settle on large parcels of privately purchased land. Nearly 80 communal villages were constructed throughout the Kootenay-Boundary region of B.C. with elaborate supportive agro-industrial complexes in Grand Forks and Brilliant, under the corporate ownership of the CCUB (Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood). By 1924, this Doukhobor community had become the largest communal organization of its kind in North America. The USCC is a descendent of that organization and although its members no longer live communally, it remains until this day, the largest Doukhobor organization in Canada. Aside from the USCC, smaller Doukhobor organizations and groups also exist throughout the three western provinces.

Doukhobors today, as individuals or organizations, continue to be active pacifists and aspire to preserve their traditional values, Russian heritage, language and customs. They are also proud Canadian citizens and participants in the economic, social and cultural landscape of this country.

The Centennial of the Doukhobor Migration to Canada

Here rest the remains of the Doukhobor Christian Pacifists who came to Canada from Russia in 1899 because of persecution for their life concept and refusal to bear arms.

Guided by their belief in "Toil and Peaceful Life" they and their descendants overcame hardships, maintained their spiritual and cultural integrity, and contributed to the development of the young country that gave them refuge.

Now Mother Earth has reclaimed the remains of these "Spirit wrestlers" and their souls have returned home to rest eternally in God's Heavenly Kingdom. May their legacy inspire future generations to continue the struggle for peace and freedom.


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