In 1863, a bishop of the Beilokrinitskaya Hierarchy issued an encyclical or circular letter that expressed oneness with the established Church in supporting the Tsar and government’s response to an insurrection in Polish lands under Russian control. There were diverse reactions to it among the Beilokrinitskaya and it effectively broke the unity of that body, splitting it among Neokruzhniki, Okruzhniki, and Raznordiki
(Non-Encyclicalists or Non-Circularists) perceived the 1863 encyclical as counter to everything for which Old Believers stood, in that it supported a Tsar and government that represented, or perhaps were, the Anti-Christ and his minions. After separating from the Beilokrinitskaya Ierarkhiya
, the Neokruzhniki
succeeded in maintaining a distinct identity for about a half-century, but lack of a consistent source from which to replenish clergy losses took a toll on its numbers.
Some were absorbed into the Edinovertsi
(the United Believers - those who accepted a usage established by the Orthodox Church to allow Old Believer praxis within the structure of the Orthodox Church). The remainder became priestless, worshipping in house churches under lay leadership. Neokrushniki
are extinct as a discernable, separate, ecclesial body; however, a few small bodies are said to survive from the separatist movement and reportedly resist being categorized as Bespopovtsy
, despite being priestless.
Both the Louzhkane
derive from the Beglopopovtsi
(Runaway Priests), a movement that hovered between those of the Popovtsy
. Lacking a hierarchy and without adequate numbers of presbyters, they looked for clergy to those willing to train in Russian Orthodox seminaries and then defect after ordination.
Reliance on such an inconsistent and unpredictable source of clerics, though, meant that Beglopopovtsi
faithful found themselves in environments that continually shifted from being priested to priestless and back again. Ultimately, influenced both by the availability or non-availability of priests and, occasionally, by changes in theological mindset regarding the need for such, the Beglopopovtsi
congregations became fixed in one or the other status and Beglopopovtsi
ceased to exist as a separately identifiable ecclesial group.
As to particulars of the two sub-groups named:Luzhkovskoe Soglasie
(Luzhkov‘s Compact), also termed Luzhkovtsy
, and Louzhkane
, was a priested body centered in Pavlovsky Posad. After a sustained period of being priestless in the mid-19th century, a status which they apparently found disheartening, most Luzhkovtsy
were received into mainstream
Russian Orthodoxy (rather than being received under the Edinovertsi
aegis). They took this step under the leadership of two kinsmen - Yakob Labzin and Vasily Gryiznov. Those of them who resisted returning to their historic spiritual roots did not affiliate with any other Popovtsy
and their numbers continued to decline. Reportedly, remnant individuals, but no extant communities, survive.
(A few years ago, Gryiznov was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church and his cultus was approved for local veneration. The missionary work which he performed among the Staroviertsi, subsequent to his own entry into communion, apparently precipitated his canonization.)Makeevtsy
(Makeev‘s Confession) was another body continuously torn between a priested and priestless existence. As with the Luzhkane, Makeevtsy
chose or failed, for whatever reason, to ally themselves to any of the larger and more stable Popovtsy
congregations and suffered the same fate. Reports indicate no organized, functioning communities are extant but, again, only scattered remnant faithful. I haven't been able to learn any specifics as to what praxis or theology specifically differentiated them from the Luzhkane
and it's possible that none did - that they were merely followers of different leaders who gave their names to the respective bodies - that was not uncommon.