American woman’s escape remote religious sect in Siberia after 15 years ‘held against her will

After 15 years held in the Siberian wilderness, Yelizaveta, American woman narrated how she was held against her will by an obscure religious sect.


Yelizaveta, said she was sent from Oregon on the west coast of the US to ‘visit’ cousins in Russia when she was 15-years-old but never returned.

But once there, a male relative took her on an epic journey from Moscow to a remote woman’s monastry.

First, she was taken on a flight to Krasnoyarsk, a city in central Russia, and then via helicopter to a small village called Sandakches.

Yelizaveta said from there she travelled for two days down a river via a boat, and then walked another 25 miles to where the religious community lived in complete isolation from the modern world.


According to report, the Old Believers are branch of Christians that split from the Russian Orthodox church in the 17th Century.

Men do not shave their beards, believing it is a serious sin.

“They didn’t tell me it was a one-way ticket,” Yelizaveta said.

“They lied to me and sent me there. We got to the monastery and I lived there for 15 years.”

Yelizaveta said she wasn’t physically abused but had to live a very strict life, spending her time collecting firewood or ploughing fields by hand.

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