HC Deb 20 May 1878 vol 240 cc259-60

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If his attention has been called to an article in the "Globe" of the 8th instant, describing the sufferings and persecutions to which the Stundisli or Evangelical Dissenters are now subjected in Russia, and pointing out— That they had commenced operations in 1870, first by holding a prayer meeting in secret and then extending their influence openly, until at last whole parishes had joined the heterodox faith. For doing this and persisting in weaning the peasants from their orthodox belief in the holy images, saints, and caudles, the prosecutor demanded that the three offenders should be exiled to the Mines of Siberia, although they had already suffered three years' imprisonment without trial; and, whether Her Majesty's Government would use their good offices to ameliorate the condition of these Christians so that their condition might in some degree be assimilated to that of their nonconformist brethren in this country?


I regret to say that my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is still prevented by indisposition from being present. He has, however, enabled me to answer this Question, and I have to say that no information has been received at the Foreign Office respecting the persecution in Russia of the sect referred to, and it would not appear to be a matter in which Her Majesty's Government can use their good offices.