The Irkutsk Spiritual Mission 1861–70


Presented here is a short book, published by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1870, which gives an overview of the work of the church’s mission to Siberia during the 1860s. The mission was part of a drive by the church to Christianize the native peoples of Siberia in service of a wider effort by the Russian state to Russianize the territory. Many of the missionaries to Siberia were skilled linguists who translated Orthodox texts into local languages. The book was written by Parfeni (born Peter Tikhonovich Popov, 1811–73), archbishop of Irkutsk and Nerchinsk from 1860 to 1873. He established two missions and baptized 8,000 people, laying the groundwork for his successor, Veniamin (born Vasilii Antonovich Blagonravov, 1825–92), an influential missionary who saw the baptism of the local Buddhist population as critical for the Russification of Siberia. The book is preserved in the collections of the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg. It was digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project in the early 2000s.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Russian Orthodox Church, Irkutsk


Title in Original Language

Иркутская духовная миссия с 1861 по 1870 год

Type of Item

Physical Description

84 pages ; 22 x 14 centimeters

Last updated: January 10, 2018