Monday, 22 August 2011

Q46: Why is there respect and equality amongst Doukhobors?

From: Agnes Montanari, Photographer, Italy

I often mention my encounter with the Doukhobor community of the Republic of Georgia to friends as it has left a permanent sign on my life. I will always be grateful for the hospitality and the kindness with which I have been welcomed.

I am trying at present and again to publish this work. One aspect that is very interesting is the respect and equality that exist among men and women. I would very much like to be able to develop more this aspect among others as I think it is one of the very few religions in the world that promotes such a principle. Unfortunately I do not have much information and would be grateful if you could tell me more about it.


The respect for equality amongst the Doukhobor men and women arises from their very essence. Namely, the belief that there exists the spirit of love, beauty and God in every person (that is the meaning of Spirit-Wrestlers). It is parallel to the Light Within that one finds in the Society of Friends (Quakers). This spirit is a philosophy of nonkilling and a compassion for life.

This same invention makes them more of a way of life or a social movement, rather than that of an organized religion. Officially they reject the institution of the church, the icons, the priesthood and the rituals of the organized church, synagogue or mosque. Theirs is a focus on the ethics of human behaviour, with men and women ideally being an equal part of the whole. In practice, married couples need to work together in maintaining their egalitarian status — and this is a continuous 'give-and-take' spirit of compromise towards the ideal of the Spirit Within.

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