Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cult Leader Who Claims To Be Jesus Arrested By Russian Security Forces

Sergei Torop, known as “Vissarion the Teacher”, or “Jesus of Siberia” 
A former traffic police officer who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus was arrested today in a special operation staged by Russian security agents.

TheGuardian

Sergei Torop, who is known to his followers as Vissarion, was arrested along with two other leaders of the group, Vadim Redkin and Vladimir Vedernikov.

Russia’s investigative committee said it would charge him with organising an illegal religious organisation, alleging that the cult extorted money from followers and subjected them to emotional abuse.

The 59-year-old cult leader, who lost his job as a traffic officer in 1989, claimed he experienced an “awakening” as the Soviet regime began to collapse. In 1991 he founded a movement now known as the Church of the Last Testament and has written a ten-volume ‘sequel to the Bible’.

Several thousand followers live in a series of remote hamlets in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia. Converts to the cult have included professionals from across Russia as well as pilgrims from abroad.

Torop is reported to have two wives with six children. Veganism is enforced and monetary exchange is banned inside the commune. Followers wear austere clothing and count years starting from 1961, the year of Vissarion’s birth, while Christmas has been replaced by a feast day on 14 January, his birthday.

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