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“Beware of false prophets who come to you as wolves in sheep clothing!” A Siberian cult leader who bills himself as the reincarnation of Jesus has reportedly been arrested in Russia.
Sergei Torop, 59, will face charges for organizing an illegal religion and extorting money from his cult’s members, whom he allegedly emotionally abused, The Guardian reported Tuesday. Russia’s federal security forces conducted a special operation involving helicopters and armed officers to storm the cult in Siberia and arrest Torop, a former traffic cop known to his thousands of followers as Vissarion, and two of his aides. The country’s Investigative Committee accused Torop, who sports long hair and a beard, of “using followers’ money and psychological violence to inflict harm,” the Moscow Times reported.
After losing his traffic officer gig in 1989, Torop said he experienced an “awakening” that inspired him to launch a movement called the Church of the Last Testament, which blends Christianity with environmentalism and other values, according to The Guardian. “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,” he told the Guardian back in 2002.
The misconceptions in his statements are enough to take any true Christian out of his way.
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