I was rather amused to see that a Russian sect considers Vladimir Putin to be a new St Paul and is on a special mission from God.
The sect, which is not named, is based in a village near Nizhny Novgorod and is all-female.
"According to the Bible, Paul the Apostle was a military commander at first and an evil persecutor of Christians before he started spreading the Christian gospel," the sect's founder, Mother Fotina, said. “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 wisely leading his flock. It is hard for him now but he is fulfilling his heroic deed as an apostle."
The members dress like nuns and pray for Mr Putin's success in front of Russian Orthodox Church icons that have been placed alongside a portrait of the Russian prime minister himself.
Followers are reportedly encouraged to sing upbeat patriotic Soviet songs at 'services' rather than hymns.
As befits a sect that worships a man who has denounced the decadence of the oligarchs, the sect's members are said to survive on a Spartan diet of turnips, carrots, peas and buckwheat.
"It is quite right an proper first I've that they think so highly of the prime minister's work," said Putin’s press officer Dmitry Peskov. “For has neither earth nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Vladimir our Lord.”
Prime minister Putin is reported to have said “For I am already on the paint of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, “