In case you were not aware, Russia is filled with Christian families. That being said, there are some weird things going on in regards to Christianity in Russia that you might find interesting.
Before revealing himself as the ‘reincarnation of Jesus’ Sergey Anatolyevitch was a Red Army Soldier and a traffic policeman. He is currently 56 years old and worshiped by thousands of people. Anatolyevitch lives with his two wives and teaches of reincarnation and the apocalypse. He calls himself Vissarion and calls his church the Church of the Last Testament.
His followers are vegetarians who must follow specific rules. They are not allowed to smoke or drink and must pretty much do as he says. His worshipers include many residents of a network of villages in southern Siberia. They live off of the land and use clean energy.
He claims the aim of his ‘group’ is to work to unite all religions on this planet. Many accuse him of brainwashing those who follow him and using them for their money and so forth. Many of his followers abandoned quite successful careers and lives to merely follow his teachings. The members of this group are known as Vissarionites. Vissarion only came to prominence after the fall of the Soviet Union.
One of his wives happens to be a young 19-year-old woman who has lived with him since she was seven years old. He predicts a great flood to come and says his followers will be saved. During a BBC interview, he spoke with Simon Reeve and let him in on a good bit of information about his lifestyle.
A teacher in the group had this to say in regards to school:
“We have a school of noble maidens here. We’re preparing girls to become future wives, future brides for worthy men. She has to understand not to rise above the man, not to be proud of her independence but to be shy, inconspicuous and weak.”
I truly feel for the young girls growing up believing that being independent and equal to ‘man’ is a bad thing. While I know there are more elsewhere, hearing this really did make my heart sink. Vissarion has also written a sequel to the Bible and it is made up of ten volumes. His followers live a simple life working for him and living in wooden huts.
His settlement, according to the Guardian, consists of about 40 villages connected only by dirt roads. Vissarion himself doesn’t live within the community. He lives in a smaller community with only about 50 of his closest followers. That being said, his presence is everywhere. This does sound a bit insane but it is all true. Vissarion does believe he is ‘Jesus.’
Please remember that cults can happen anywhere. There are likely many we don’t even know about. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Learn more about Vissarion in the documentary below. What do you think about this ‘church’ and could Vissarion really be some long lost savior?