'Russian Old Believers in Estonia', an exhibition at the Art Gallery of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in Minsk, the Republic of Belarus. Photos by Arne Maasik and texts by Jaanus Plaat. The first Old Believers came to Estonia at the end of the 17th century, when Estonia was under Swedish rule. They were mostly Russians fleeing Russia due to the persecution and repression which followed the church reforms initiated by Patriarch Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church in the middle of that century. Many Orthodox believers did not respond well to the changes in ecclesiastical life in Russia. Those opposing the reforms were called raskolniks and later also Old Believers or Old Ritualists. The Old Believers fled the persecution to the edges of the Russian Empire and to Rzeczpospolita, the Polish-Lithuanian joint state, during the second half of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. Their movement west continued in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of them reached Estonia between the 17th and 19th century and settled mainly on the shores of Lake Peipus, but also in Tartu, Paldiski, Tallinn and elsewhere. Introducing the unique, rich and persistent culture and religious life of Estonian Old Believers in writing and pictures is the main purpose of the curators of this exhibition. Texts are written by: J. Plaat Photos by: A. Maasik Design by: Martin Siplane Curator of the exhibition: J. Plaat Language editor: Hille Saluäär Translators: Oksana Palikova, Irina Külmoja, Tiina Randus, Laura Erik, Richard David Adang The exhibition is supported by the international programme for Estonia 100 and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Estonian Cultural Endowment, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Estonian Embassies in Minsk and Moscow.