After the dissolution of the Soviet Union,
there came many preachers, gurus, and teachers such as Sergei Torop, also known as Vissarion, who founded the Church of the Last Testament 30 years ago, with its head church located in the small settlement called ‘Abode of Dawn’ near Petropavlovka. He created the Unified Faith, a mix of existing religions. Many of his followers left their cities, quit their jobs, and broke up with their spouses in the hope of building a better world in the harsh conditions of the Siberian Taiga.


Thousands of people from all over the former Soviet Union came to listen to his lectures and consider Vissarion to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, though the Russian authorities see him as a criminal. In September 2020, Vissarion and two of his assistants were arrested. The Investigative Committee of Russia accused them of "creating a religious group whose activities could lead to violence against citizens," but they deny it. The three men are still being held in Novosibirsk’s prison (1,000 miles from their community) without charge.

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