An Old Story of New Jerusalem
An attempted reconstruction of the history of the Murashkovtsy Christian Holy Zionists - a religious community established in the 1930s in present-day Western Belarus and Ukraine. The chief protagonists are the prophets Ivan Murashko and Olga Kirylchuk-Korneichuk who, according to the Zionists, embodied the Second Coming of Christ. By basing herself on on-the-spot interviews the authoress tried to bring the reader closer to hagiographic narrations about the miracles and sanctity of the Father and Mother of Zion, as the founders of the movement were known, and the history of New Jerusalem - a holy city built in 1936-39 in Volhynia as a realisation of the idea of the Kingdom of God on Earth. We learn about prophets, apostles, holy blood and New Zion as well as about rejection and strong social stigmatisation. The post-war history of the group is branded with persecution, arrests and imposed wanderings from Volhynia across the Caucasus to Central Asia and finally to the environs of Odessa where more than 350 members of the congregation continue to reside. From the very onset the Zionists, engaged in implementing their utopia, remained on the margin of social and religious life. Ridiculed by some and openly branded by others, they sought refuge in isolation, fled the outside world, and closed themselves in enclaves governed by rules formulated by the prophets. The presented text is an attempt at bringing the reader close to the alternative created by the Murashko adherents in their New Jerusalem.
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