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Stara vira

Stara vira — a term meaning the “old faith” referring to the religious orientation of adherents (starovertsi) of the Eastern rite. The term began to be used by Carpatho-Rusyns in the sixteenth and seventeenth century to contrast themselves from “the Other,” that is, from those in their midst who adopted the new Protestant beliefs or who were Latin-rite Catholics. The term sometimes appeared as the “ancient holy faith” (sancta fides antiqua in the words of the Uniate/Greek Catholic Bishop Joseph *De Camelis) or as the “Rus’ faith” (rus’ka vira). Subsequently, Orthodox authors used the terms stara vira and rus’ka vira interchangeably to contrast the legitimacy of their own beliefs with those of fellow Greek Catholic Rusyns who accepted the *Unia/Church Union.

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
http://www.uoftbookstore.com/online/merchant.ihtml?pid=137163&step=4

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