Shaun Walker “Cult leader who claims to be reincarnation of Jesus arrested in Russia” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/22/cult-leader-vissarion-reincarnation-jesus-arrested-siberia-russia
Torop, who lost his job as a traffic officer in 1989, claimed he experienced an “awakening” as the Soviet regime began to collapse. In 1991 he founded a movement now known as the Church of the Last Testament.
Several thousand followers live in a series of remote hamlets in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia. Converts to the cult have included professionals from across Russia as well as pilgrims from abroad.
“I am not God. And it is a mistake to see Jesus as God. But I am the living word of God the father. Everything that God wants to say, he says through me,” Vissarion told the Guardian in 2002*1.
Russian media reported that in the original ideology of the cult, Vissarion claimed Jesus was watching over people from an orbit close to Earth, and the Virgin Mary was “running Russia”, but later he declared himself to be Jesus.
His commune mixes a selection of rites drawn from Orthodox Christianity with environmental edicts and a series of other rules. Veganism is enforced and monetary exchange is banned inside the commune. Followers wear austere clothing and count years starting from 1961, the year of Vissarion’s birth, while Christmas has been replaced by a feast day on 14 January, his birthday.
*1:Ian Traynor “Jesus of Siberia” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/may/24/russia.iantraynor
*2:See “Messiah on the make in Sun City” https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/may/30/theobserver6