Agafia's letter to Old Believers


Our Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on us. Amen. This is the letter of Agafia Lykova to brothers and sisters. I wish that God grants you all good health but, first and foremost, salvation of your souls and all kinds of well-being. Another thing I must tell you, my fathers and brothers and sisters in God, is that I live alone, I’m an orphan, my health is waning. My age is advanced. I need a person to help me. Please, don’t leave me, for Christ’s sake, I’m a humble orphan in need. There are still kind Christian people and old believers out there. 

                                            June 21st, 7522 since Adam 

Watch Agafia's story here: https://rtd.rt.com/films/agafia/

In the mid-17th century, the leader of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Nikon, introduced radical reforms in Russia. Many couldn’t accept the changes and became known as “Old Believers ”. To avoid religious persecution first from the Orthodox Church and then from the Soviets, families fled to some of the most remote corners of the world. In 1978, one such family was discovered by a group of geologists in the remote Russian Republic of Khakassia, Siberia. The Lykovs looked as if they belonged to a previous century: they dressed in homespun clothes and used primitive instruments in their everyday life. They were completely self-sufficient and still highly religious. 

Today, Agafia, 70, is the last surviving member of this family. She still lives in her family home deep in Siberia woods , where she was born. She is much more aware of the things going on in the modern world, than her family was when they were first discovered. Still, she keeps her faith and her traditional outlook on life, and prefers to maintain her simple, yet increadibly labour-intensive lifestyle, rather than enjoy the gifts of civilisation. She was, however, in need of a helper - someone who could share the daily chores with her, but also share her faith and convictions. After she wrote the letter above, she was able to find an fellow old believer who joined Agafia in her hut.