From "The Last Testament". Russia. Krasnoyarsk Territory. 2015. Disciples of Vissarion at a communal lunch during a Christmas pilgrimage. Christmas for them is January 14th, Vissarion’s birthday. I
n 1988 the man born as Sergei Torop lost his job as a traffic policeman in the Siberian town of Minusinsk. Shortly afterwards, just as the Soviet Union unraveled around him, he had his first revelations that he was Jesus Christ. He founded the Church of the Last Testament in the early 1990s. People flocked to him from all corners of the Russian empire and founded an off-the-grid utopian eco-village in the Siberian wilderness, the Abode of Dawn. The community now numbers around five thousand dedicated followers. They have built their own schools, churches, formed a priesthood and their own social structure. Vissarion’s right-hand disciple, Vadim, is always close by and records all Vissarion’s deeds and proclamations. The resulting chronicles are continuously published in thick Russian-language tomes titled Pozledniy Zavet, or The Last Testament. They are currently on volume sixteen.
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