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© RIA Novosti. Sergey Guneev

Sect believes Putin is a modern day St. Paul

by at 12/05/2011 17:41


The relationship between Russia’s rulers and God goes back a long way. Alexander Nevsky was canonised for repelling invasions of Holy Mother Russia, while Nikolai II and his family have been recognised as saintly passion-bearers by the Orthodox church.

But no living leader has been worshipped by a religious group, until now.

A sect worshipping Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has started up in the village of Bolshaya Yelnia near the Volga.


Putin is St Paul reborn

The sect was founded by a woman calling herself Mother Fotina, and she teaches that Putin was St Paul in his past life, and is now together with seven other reborn apostles fighting the antichrists, Interfax reported.

“According to the Bible, Paul the Apostle was a military commander at first,” the sect’s founder told Sobesednik.

“In his days in the KGB, Putin also did some rather unrighteous things. But once he became president, he was imbued with the Holy Spirit, and just like the apostle, he started heading his flock,” she said.

Fotina claims she has known Vladimir Putin since he was Vladimir I of Kiev (who converted then pagan Russia to Christianity in 988), and she was Olga of Kiev, Vladimir’s grandmother.


Popular sect with Soviet flavour

“The people are flocking to her. There are less now, but earlier sometimes all the road was taken with parked cars – all fancy cars, with license plates from different regions,” a local resident said.

The sect’s adepts even sing Soviet children’s tune Pust Vsegda Budet Slontse (Let the sun be forever) as psalms, and listen to masses sitting on carpet.

The society’s iconostasis even has a portrait of Vladimir Putin.

Prison redemption

Like a character from a Tolstoy novel, Fotina (whose real name is Svetlana Frolova), found the path to righteousness while behind bars.

Once released after serving time for fraud she took up psychic studies and starting inviting people for séances. Her first salon was specialising incosmoenergy.”

Later Frolova sold her Nizhny Novgorod flat and bought a house in Bolshaya Yelna, where she established the “abode”.

Authorities are not worried

“We are aware of the existence of such a sect,” said the head of Kstovsky area of Nizhegorodsky Region Svetlana Medvedeva.

“We received complaints from local residents, but we cannot do anything about it. For this we need proof of illegal activity of said abode, which we do not have.”


Impressive devotion

The high evaluation of what the Prime Minister has done is impressive,” said Vladimir Putins press-secretary Dmitry Peskov. “But I would like to recall one of the main commandments: ‘thou shalt not worship false idols’.

“When confronted with signs of worship – devoting poems, paintings and other, Vladimir Putin, as far as I could see, reacts very cautiously. The Prime Minister has spoken about it more than once,” Peskov said.

The PM’s spokesman said Putin has a positive attitude towards like-minded people, rather than fans, “who he is connected to through real deeds, and not signs of idolatry.”

Putin has been made the hero of pop songs, brands of vodka and even night club parties during his time as president and prime minister.


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