BUZZ Fam, ‘Jesus’ has been arrested by the Russian police. Sergei Torop, known to his followers as Vissarion is a former traffic police officer who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus.
He has been arrested with two of his top aides for and will be charged with organising an illegal religious organisation.
Vissarion has led a cult in the depths of Siberia for the past three decades. After losing his job as a traffic officer in 1989, Torop claimed to have experienced an “awakening”. And in 1991 he founded a movement now known as the Church of the Last Testament.
According to Russian media, in the original ideology of the cult, Vissarion claimed Jesus was watching over people from an orbit close to Earth. He claimed Virgin Mary was “running Russia”, and later he declared himself to be Jesus.
The cult has drawn thousands of followers who live 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.
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Followers wear austere clothing and count years starting from 1961, the year of Vissarion’s birth, while Christmas has been replaced by a feast day on 14 January, his birthday.
“I am not God. And it is a mistake to see Jesus as God. But I am the living word of God the father. Everything that God wants to say, he says through me,” Vissarion told the Guardian, 18 years ago.