The leader of a notable spiritual sect has been arrested in a remote component of Siberia by the Russian safety forces, law enforcement say.
Sergei Torop, who is regarded to his followers as Vissarion, started the Church of the Previous Testomony in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region in 1991.
He was arrested alongside with two other leaders of the team.
They stand accused of extorting funds and resulting in actual physical and psychological hurt to their followers.
Mr Torop, Vadim Redkin and Vladimir Vedernikov are suspected of “developing a religious affiliation whose actions require violence from men and women and of inflicting grievous bodily harm to two or a lot more persons,” a spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigations Committee stated.
“They utilised the money of [their followers] and also used psychological violence against them,” she is quoted as expressing by point out media.
Mr Torop, a 59-12 months-outdated previous visitors policeman, has reportedly captivated hundreds of followers considering that founding the religious team soon following the crack-up of the Soviet Union. Some are said to think he is the reincarnation of Christ.
He was detained by safety forces following a specific procedure on Tuesday, and video on Russian Tv showed gentlemen in camouflage fatigues main two men onto a helicopter.
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Just one area resident wrote on Facebook that 4 helicopters and dozens of masked men had arrived in the place just before they began to search nearby homes and structures.
Followers of the Church of the Previous Testament founded a settlement, identified as the Metropolis of the Sunshine, in the Kuraga region of Siberia in 1995. Quite a few hundred users live in other settlements in the location.
In 2000, the Russian ministry of justice claimed the sect had amassed 10,000 followers around the entire world.
Its followers should not smoke, drink or trade money, and need to reside a basic subsistence. Believers in the teachings of Mr Torop really should also not take in meat, espresso, tea, sugar, yeast bread and wheat products and solutions, BBC Russian stories.
The group combines components of the Russian Orthodox Church with themes of reincarnation, as nicely as preparations for the impending apocalypse, the New Yorker journal noted.