A 23 year old artist and film maker Ilya Novikov was arrested for impersonating Jesus Christ after he was spotted walking along a road carrying a huge wooden cross on his back in the city of Perm in central Russia’s Perm Krai region.
A video recorded by an eyewitness showed the bearded artist wearing long flowing white robe as he walked along the street with a T-shaped cross. Motorists saw him and called the Police. wo policemen quickly arrived on the scene to arrest him – but struggled to fit his cross in the back of their patrol car. They eventually succeeded and took Mr Novikov to a police station for questioning and was later released.
A police spokesman said:
“A man in white clothes, carrying a cross, was spotted by onlookers and police were called to the scene. Officers talked with the man at the police station and let him go.“
Mr Novikov said:
“My friend gave me some wooden sticks so I made a cross out of them. The experience of Jesus Christ was repeated. People were laughing, shouting and mocking me.
‘This reaction proves that the Bible story was true and that after 2,000 years people have still not changed – we are still cruel and intolerant to our neighbours.“
But Father Igor Anoufriev, the rector of the city’s Church of St George, condemned the stunt as blasphemy.
Police officers said the stunt was a potential traffic hazard.