Sergei Torop, generally known as “Vissarion the Trainer”, or “Jesus of Siberia” | CREDIT: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP through Getty Photography
A former web page web page visitors police officer who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus was as soon as arrested this day in a assorted operation staged by Russian safety brokers.
Sergei Torop, who is known to his followers as Vissarion, was as soon as arrested along with two assorted leaders of the neighborhood, Vadim Redkin and Vladimir Vedernikov.
Russia’s investigative committee said it can maybe maybe mark him with organising an illegal non secular organisation, alleging that the cult extorted money from followers and subjected them to emotional abuse.
A spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigations Committee said that the neighborhood is suspected of “establishing a non secular association whose activities hold violence in opposition to people and of inflicting vulgar bodily inconvenience to 2 or extra folks.
Sergei Torop sits in a cell at Novosibirsk central district court on Tuesday. Photograph: Kirill Kukhmar/Tass
“They extinct the money of [their followers] and also extinct psychological violence in opposition to them,” she is quoted as asserting by tell media.
The 59-year-former cult chief, who misplaced his job as a web page web page visitors officer in 1989, claimed he experienced an “awakening” as the Soviet regime began to crumple. In 1991 he founded a circulation now generally known as the Church of the Final Testament and has written a ten-quantity ‘sequel to the Bible’.
In 2002, informed the Guardian UK: “I’m no longer God. And it is miles a mistake to understand Jesus as God. Nevertheless I’m the living discover of God the father. The entirety that God needs to relate, he says through me”.
Loads of thousand followers reside in a chain of distant hamlets in the Krasnoyarsk living in Siberia. Converts to the cult fetch integrated professionals from all the most life like possible device through Russia as well to pilgrims from in any other country.
In an interview with the BBC three years previously, Torop said: “Now we fetch a college of noble maidens right here. We’re making prepared ladies to turn out to be future wives, future brides for important males.
“She has to fancy no longer to upward push above the person, no longer to be glad along with her independence however to be alarmed, inconspicuous and feeble.”
Torop is reported to fetch two wives with six children. Veganism is enforced and monetary alternate is banned throughout the commune. Followers wear austere clothing and rely years starting from 1961, the year of Vissarion’s initiating, whereas Christmas has been replaced by a feast day on 14 January, his birthday.