Two members of Russian doomsday sect die in cave

April 9th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, April 9 (RIA Novosti) Two of the doomsday sect members holed up in an underground shelter in central Russia since November to prepare for the Apocalypse have died, a group member who came to the surface a week ago said Wednesday. “During our stay, two people died. They are buried there. One died of cancer and the other, from Belarus, died while fasting,” Vitaly Negodon, a leader of the group that believes the world will end in May, told TV channel Russia Today.

His report has not been officially confirmed.

“There is one detail that greatly worries us. The authorities are hiding this, and are forbidding us to say that during our stay two people died,” he said.

However, Anton Sharonov, a government spokesman in the Penza region, said authorities were verifying Negodon’s claims.

“We have taken this information on board. To confirm such a thing, the fact of death must be legally established, and this can only be done when the hermits leave their cave,” Sharonov said.

Thirty-five members of the sect went underground in November to await the end of the world, which they say will come in May.

However, 24 members, including four children, emerged from their hideaway in late March and early April after most of the dugout’s roof collapsed due to thaw waters and heavy rain.

The sect’s leader, Pyotr Kuznetsov, 43, was admitted to hospital last Wednesday after an apparent suicide attempt.

He had been held in an asylum in Penza, about 600 km southeast of Moscow, since November.

The Russian Orthodox Church and the government have worried over the rapid growth of religious groups since the fall of the Soviet Union.
RIA Novosti

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