Though many Doukhobor families
like the Perverseffs have assimilated into mainstream society, many
Doukhobor community members have recently banded together in a new organization
called the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (U.S.C.C.), founded
by a descendent of one of their original leaders. Also know as the Orthodox
Doukhobors, this group has been instrumental in maintaining the thread
of Doukhobor cultural activities until the present day. Youth activities,
in particular, have gained new prominence, with the introduction of
Sunday Prayer meetings, Russian-language classes, and youth activity
groups. Annual youth festivals held each spring have been a focal point
of cultural activity for 27 consecutive years. The Honorary Chairman
of the U.S.C.C., John J. Verigin has led the efforts of the members
to achieve a relationship of mutual understanding, respect, and friendship
with the society around them; so as not to assimilate into cultural
oblivion, but to integrate and live in harmony as part of Canada's multi-cultural
Though many Doukhobor elders worry about the future, Doukhobor cultural
identity has endured until now, and in recent years, with the advent
of a new generation of young people curious about their culture, many
believe it shows the signs of a healthy, vigorous future. Instead of
abandoning their cultural inheritance, the Doukhobors, in applying traditional
concepts to their everyday lives, are striving to be in harmony with
modern conditions. In maintaining the language and culture of their
origin, they have grown to appreciate their advantages in achieving
bilingual or even multi-lingual status. In a world which is faced with
a multitude of technological and ecological problems, they have gained
a new respect for the simple, self-sufficient, and ecologically sound
traditional life-style of their forbears.
And, most of all, in a world constantly threatened by outbreaks of violence
large and small, the Doukhobor elders are proud of their people, holding
fast to the precious heritage of eternal Truth which they inherited.
"The welfare of the whole world is not worth the life of one child"
is a Doukhobor slogan with passionate meaning in a Doukhobor's heart.
Doukhobors are continuing to strive - along with like minded people
all over the world - for a world where killing and war would be unknown
and where we can all be one loving human family, a "Brotherhood
of Man under the Fatherhood of God".
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