The introduction situates the phenomenon of Inochentism in the historical context of the Russian and Romanian borderlands, outlining both the religious and the political factors that shaped the movement. Inochentie of Balta’s relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church, to Russian Tsar and Empire and his connection with the key figures of John of Kronstadt, Rasputin and Saint Feodosie Leviţchi is briefly introduced as well as highlighting some parallels with other forms of Russian religious dissent. The key theoretical concept of liminality is discussed in relation borderlands and marginalised groups and the key textual, oral historical and archival sources are introduced. The discussion also addresses the methodological and ethical challenges associated with research on persecuted religious communities.