Russians Flock to New Religions
Followers of the 'new' Jesus head to Siberia to build a town
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2007 3:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – Is a former traffic cop named Sergei Tropov really the reincarnation of Jesus? Five thousand devoted followers of the Church of the Last Testament believe so, and they've relocated to a remote corner of the Siberian wilderness, where they are constructing a new town founded on the 18-year-old religion. The Washington Post pays a call.

The trend hardly unique to Russia, where citizens disillusioned by the abuses of traditional churches are flocking to thousands of religious start-ups. "It is a massive phenomenon," says one expert. The converts aren't "the mad and the gullible and the stupid," he adds. "Often they are very well-educated."