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Church of the Last Testament



Fired traffic policeman Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop—known also as Vissarion—is the leader of the Church of the Last Testament. Claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, he has gained more than ten thousand followers in Russia, 4,000 of whom live in clustered cabins and yurts in the southern Siberian forest. The church combines elements of Russian Orthodoxy with Buddhism, apocalypticism, and collectivism. Vissarion teaches reincarnation and civility while requiring adherents to live free of vices such as swearing, drinking, smoking, and using money. Dressed in white robes and shaded by a red velvet umbrella, he addresses them from a hill. (Slate, 7/16/13) [IT 5.1 2014]