The Church of the Water Tsar is a religious cult that worships the Water Tsar, a monstrously large aquatic mutant inhabiting the Volga, as they believe it's the one who carries their dead to the afterlife. They are extremely technophobic, and view the use of electric appliances as a mortal sin. While they do trade with certain outsiders, they view most with suspicion, if not outright hostility. In order to join their ranks, one must renounce all technology, which is then either destroyed or stored in a nearby terminal so it can be "purified" by the Tsar Fish. If a cult member breaks the rules, they are usually punished by being forced to do dangerous or even suicidal jobs, such as exorcising electric demons. Their attitude and views are largely shaped by Silantius, their charismatic leader and enforced by his paladins.
However, it must be noted how they make a exception with the ships than come from the Volga, probably because they received taxes from letting cross their bridge.
During the ending cutscene of "The Volga" level, Silantius' dialogue with Duke and Artyom suggests that he himself doesn't believe that "using technology is a sin". Rather, he created and maintains this cult just to be able to control local people. During the following loading screen, Artyom speculates whether this is worse than the lies he and other people were told in the Metro about the War still raging outside Moscow.
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