homeWorld

Thousands of Russians flock to Siberia to see man claiming to be Jesus

(YouTube/Нина Гончарова)Sergey Anatolyevitch Toro, who claims to be Jesus Christ, appears in a screen capture of a video interview posted on YouTube.

Thousands of Russians are traveling to southern Siberia to meet a man who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

Sergey Anatolyevitch Toro once worked as a traffic policeman and a soldier in the Red Army before the collapse of the Soviet Union, but now, he dons a long white cloak and sports long hair and a beard to teach his followers about the apocalypse, reincarnation and vegetarianism.

Toro, who calls himself "Vissarion," now lives with his followers in what he calls his "Siberian utopia" in Petropavlovka, where believers live by his strict rules. He forbids his followers to smoke, drink alcohol, and even spend money, according to Daily Star.

He claims that he was "reborn" in 1991, and founded the Church of the Last Testament. Since that time, he has gained at least 5,000 devotees, some of whom abandoned successful careers to follow him.

After spending time in the Army, Toro worked as a traffic policeman on the night shift in the small Siberia town of Minusinsk until he became unemployed.

He claims that something suddenly "awoke" inside of him, and he instantly became aware that he is the second coming of Christ.

The 56-year-old Toro said that he realized that he had been sent to Earth by God to teach mankind about the evils of war and the destruction being caused by people on the environment.

The former traffic cop says that his goal is to join every religion on the globe together. He promises spiritual perfection for his followers and predicts that a great flood will take place sometime in the future.

Toro, who reportedly has two wives and six kids, has been accused of fleecing his loyal community of followers for personal gain. He has recently traveled to France, Italy and Holland to "convert" new followers, although he claims that the trips were sponsored by his hosts and that his Church makes no money.

In a recent interview with BBC's Simon Reeve, a school teacher in a village where Toro's believers live detailed how women are being prepared to become future brides for his male followers.

"We have a school of noble maidens here. We're preparing girls to become future wives, future brides for worthy men," Toro said.

"She has to understand not to rise above the man, not to be proud of her independence but to be shy, inconspicuous and weak," he added.

Reeve said in response: "Scary stuff. I genuinely felt like I should be calling social services. They're teaching Vissarion's ten volume sequel to the bible."

Go to the Home Page

Top News

Inside Christian Times