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ralization from some passing incident, but the result of more than thirty years' experience by men who have exceptional facilities for knowing the people and for tracing out the sources of action. These men with one accord lift up their hands to the Christian Powers of Europe and say: Take Turkey in hand, compel her to be just, rule her, and, if need be, dismember her; but in no event suffer Russia to come in and rule her and us. That is an appeal that the Christian people of England ought to hear, to ponder, and to heed. This marks the direction in which Christian sympathy should move. One missionary says, • The coming in of Russia would be like a return of the glacial
If Russia can act in the way above described tolerance.
against the members of other religions than her own in provinces which are under the direct rule of a foreign Government, how great would be the religious persecution in those provinces if the power of that Government were withdrawn and Russian influence became predominant in them ! Nor should it be supposed that Protestants only are the objects of Russian persecution. In Poland * the Roman Catholic dioceses have been arbitrarily suppressed, the ecclesiastical property has been confiscated, numberless Roman Catholic churches have been closed, curates have been expelled from their
, parishes, and an archbishop (Felinski) and a bishop (Krasinski) have been banished to Siberia.
The members of another religion, the United Greek Church, have been even more mercilessly persecuted. Whole villages in the diocese of Chelm have been converted” to the Russian
o Church by the simple process of marching a body of troops into the streets, who, after turning the clergy out of the churches and installing Russian popes in their stead, crushed all resistance by shooting down the peasants who opposed these measures.
* Pall Mall Gazette, February 21st, 1876.
† The massacres in the diocese of Chelm took place in January, 1874. Troops were sent into each village, and the commanding officers, accompanied by Russian popes, having assembled the peasantry, called upon them to sigu a declaration stating their willingness to accept the Russian rite.
Another illustration of the intolerance of the Treatment of the Jews in Russian Government is afforded in its treatment
of the Jews. The number of Jews in the Empire is 3,000,000, and they are only allowed to reside in certain provinces of European Russia. This restriction, enforced by the tyranny of exclusive laws, is carried out by individuals whose whole subsistence, based mainly on a system of wholesale bribery, depends on the maintenance of those laws, and is an inexhaustible source of moral and social misery to the Jewish population. Further, concessions relative to the change of domicile (such as permission to reside in St.
In the villages where the peasants refused to do this the soldiery were ordered to beat the men and women with the butt-ends of their muskets, and, if they still continued refractory, to fire upon them. At Polubice six peasants were either beaten to death or mortally wounded; at Drelow five were killed, twenty-eight severely wounded, and all the villagers were beaten with sticks, each of the men receiving fifty blows, each woman twenty, and each child ten. At Pratulin the troops fired on the peasantry while they were singing hymns in the market-place. Twelve peasants were killed, and the dead bodies were exposed by the Russians for a whole day in the church, the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages being invited by the Russian officials to see how the Government punishes disobedience to the will of the Czar.
Petersburg) are only granted to Jewish merchants who pay the highest tax imposed on commercial licences; they are not conferred on small traders. Hence the crowding together of small traders within narrow limits, which renders poverty a permanent evil. Finally, the Jews are precluded by law from becoming proprietors of land.
The above facts will probably afford a sufficient answer to the question whether the Turkish Slays would be better off under a Russian system of Government than under that of the Porte. They would have to bribe the Russian officials just as they do the Turkish pashas; they would exchange total exemption from military service for universal obligation to military service; the Roman Catholics and Jews would find the merciless persecution of the orthodox Russian substituted for the contemptuous toleration of the Turk; and the trading classes, which are now flourishing and prosperous under the dolce far niente Government of Constantinople, would be hampered at every step by the vexatious officialism of St. Petersburg. It is not intended by the above remarks to “ Autonoattempt any defence of the Turkish rule. Nobody denies Turkish misgovernment; but the way to remedy it is not to replace it by Russian oppression. A favourite scheme of our political theorists is the establishment of tributary States, like Servia and Roumania, in Bosnia and Bulgaria. Now, “two-fifths of the population of Bosnia, and a quarter at least, if not nearly a third of the population of Bulgaria,'' is, according to Mr. Forster, Mahometan; and, as he veryjustly remarks,"merely to give them self-government and then to leave them, would be to leave them in a state of hopeless anarchy." And what is the result of anarchy in a country which is the neighbour of Russia, we all know from the history of Poland.
Moreover, it is quite evident that the formation of more autonomous vassal States in Turkey could not be carried out except as the result of a Russo-Turkish war. Now Russia, however disinterested her motives might be in entering upon such a war, would certainly not waste her blood and money without some equivalent. Such an equivalent could only consist either in the direct annexation of a piece of Turkish territory, or, which