Some Russians Worship Putin— Literally
Sect thinks he's the reincarnation of St. Paul
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 8:49 AM CDT
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addresses the United Russia party congress in Moscow on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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(Newser) – At the Chapel of Russia's Resurrection, in a village 250 miles east of Moscow, the parishioners pray to a most unusual patron saint—Vladimir Putin, who they consider a reincarnation of St. Paul, reports Der Spiegel. The church was founded by a woman who calls herself "Mother Fotina" and claims to be a reincarnation of Joan of Arc. "I proclaim what God has revealed to me," she says.

Fotina once led the "Center of Cosmo-Energetic Medicine," but now she says that the Holy Spirit changed Putin once he became the leader of Russia, just like Saul became Paul in the Bible. And she is not the only one with such beliefs—across Russia, admiration of Putin is escalating into religious worship. Posters in St. Petersburg, Putin's hometown, have depicted him as an angel. Polls indicate that 57% of Russians have seen signs of a Putin cult developing, and 52% approve.