Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop, also known as the Jesus of Siberia or simply Vissarion, is a Russian spiritual leader whose followers belong to a group called the Church of the Last Testament. The group believes in a combination of religious ideals taken from Christianity, Buddhism, and mysticism, and they live on a communal farm in rural Siberia.
Vissarion, who believes he’s the reincarnation of Jesus, presides over thousands of followers in the Siberian taiga, a rural area with no touches of the modern world. Within this community, followers are expected to heed a set of rules instructing them how to live their lives, including who they associate with and how they spend their free time. These rules - all passed down from Vissarion - isolate his followers while they serve his ends.
One of Vissarion's primary teachings is that the world is coming to an end sooner rather than later. He has stated that a great flood is on its way to wipe away most of society, and his group is “the ark” that will allow some to survive.
Some of the community's men work eight hours a day building log cabins. These may serve as the literal "ark" Vissarion references.
These wooden cabins, or "huts" - which the community also lives in - don't have electricity or central heating. This can create difficulties during the Siberian winter, which often dips well below zero degrees Fahrenheit in its coldest months.
Vissarion’s followers are entirely focused on their leader. On his orders, they eschew their earthly possessions in order to become more in touch with their spirit.
Members don’t wear makeup, don't use shampoo, and aren't allowed to keep or use money. Within the community, these items are thought to distract members from their spiritual calling.
Within the Church of the Last Testament, members pray every morning. The community's leaders - all men - meet near Vissarion’s home, the Abode of Dawn City, and pray in the city center.
These men start off each day by holding hands and praying in a circle before distributing the day’s chores. This practice is likely a necessity that keeps the community running rather than a religious decree.
While most members of Vissarion's community work the Siberian land and tend to small gardens, some have to work in the outside world. Many of these members sell goods in nearby cities, but they don’t get to keep their earnings.
All of the cash that Vissarion’s followers bring in goes into a community fund that’s used for food, as well as anything else the group needs that they can’t make or grow on their own.