Tiberkul Religious Settlement – Kuraginsky District, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Tiberkul Religious Settlement

Kuraginsky District, Russia

Home of Vissarion, the "Jesus of Siberia." 


Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop is also known as Vissarion.

Born on January 14, 1961, he has a beard, flowing robes, and claims to be the son of God. Since starting a Christianity-based religious movement in Siberia, Vissarion has gained more than 10,000 followers. 

His followers believe that he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, and he has predicted the end of the world several times. All his followers are vegan, and he teaches reincarnation and civility as the core principles of his movement.

Vissarion once worked as a traffic policeman but was fired in 1990, at which point he claimed to have a spiritual revelation. 

His first major speech took place in 1991, and it was a seminal moment for his church. It was in that speech that Vissarion founded the Church of the Last Testament, which is the title he still uses today. It’s a religious sect that combines elements of the Russian Orthodox Church with Buddhism, apocalypticism, collectivism, and ecological values.

The church claims a large and secluded tract of land in Siberian Taiga as its home, and has laid claim to the title of the largest religious reservation in the world.

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