Origin of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ
The Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ Organization (USCC) occasionally referred to as the Orthodox or Community Doukhobors, has a rich history punctuated by triumph and tragedy. It was founded in 1938 by Doukhobor leader, Peter P. Verigin, Chistiakov. It is a successor to the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB), founded by his father, Peter V. Verigin, Lordly when the Doukhobors migrated to Canada in 1899. It became a registered society in 1957 and obtained charitable status in 1970 under the guidance of John J. Verigin, CM OBC, the grandson of Peter P. Verigin. John J. Verigin served as the Honorary Chairman of the organization from 1960 until his death in 2008. Following Doukhobor tradition of designating the leadership role of the USCC , John Verigin, Jr. serves as Executive Director of the organization.
Tracing their roots to Southern Russia, the Crimea and Georgia, members of the USCC are proud of their heritage and culture. They are active pacifists and aspire to abstemiousness and vegetarianism in their personal lives. Their values are reflected in the following slogans coined by their leaders, Peter V. Verigin and Peter P. Verigin: “Toil and Peaceful Life”, Sons of Freedom cannot be Slaves of Corruption”, and “The Welfare of the World is not Worth the Life of a Single Child.”
Structure and Membership
The USCC is Canada’s largest and most active Doukhobor organization. It is a union of member communities operating in three community groupings — Grand Forks, Kootenay North and Kootenay South in the Kootenay Boundary region of south central British Columbia with smaller extended communities of members referred to as the open list membership residing in the Lower Mainland and Okanagan regions of B.C., the Calgary area of Alberta, with additional members throughout Canada and overseas.