Two additional parishes were founded in northern Alberta between 1973 and 1975 by OB from Siberia/Manchuria who arrived via South America and Oregon. Only one remains today in the vicinity of Lac La Biche - approximately 500 residents adhere to traditions discarded by other Orthodox Christians, including appearance and dietary rules formulated in Byzantium and medieval Russia. Each household constitutes an independent economic unit, with agriculture and forestry as its backbone. Russian is spoken at home.
The OB do not differ in dogma from the official Russian Orthodox Church. They refuse, however, to use liturgical books printed during or after Nikon's tenure or to abandon Church Slavonic as the sole permissible liturgical language. Further differences include iconographic and ritual distinctions, such as the insistence of the OB on making the sign of the cross with 2 rather than 3 fingers, and on baptism involving a full triple immersion.
Author DAVID SCHEFFEL
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