The Siberian community of Vissarion (Last Testament Church) is a new religious movement established at the beginning of 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among its members (estimated at several thousand), who come mainly from Russia and former Soviet republics, there is also a large group of Vissarion’s followers from Eastern Europe. In this article, I present a general characteristic of the movement and four stories from adherents. I indicate common elements in their narratives of coming to and living in the community, such as belief in continuing spiritual development, the importance of living close to nature, the focus on feelings, and concern for future generations. I also point out a “generational shift” among members of the importance of the breakup of the Soviet Union and suggest the need for scholarly consideration of its decreasing significance for adherents of new religious movements in the post-socialist region.
“What if it is actually true?”: Vissarion’s Followers from Eastern Europe and their Path to the Last Testament Church Community in Siberia
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Joanna Urbańczyk; “What if it is actually true?”: Vissarion’s Followers from Eastern Europe and their Path to the Last Testament Church Community in Siberia. Nova Religio 1 February 2017; 20 (3): 74–100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2017.20.3.74
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