MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – A resident from the Russian Urals city of Chelyabinsk has changed his name from Vyacheslav to Yeshua Ben Maryam Al-Masih, which means in Hebrew “Jesus Son of Mary, Messiah,” Chelyabinsk.ru news website reported on Thursday.
The website cited Yana Goldybayeva, head of the local Federal Migration Service department, as saying that the 49-year-old man had already changed the personal information on his passport four times.
This time, she said, the man had changed his name and passport on the basis of his religious beliefs.
The First Regional television channel cited the man as saying that he “had always spoken with the Holy Spirit,” and that the passport with the name of Yeshua was needed for him to travel abroad and go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, as well as to seek permanent residence in Israel in the future.
Father Igor Shestakov, the secretary of the Chelyabinsk eparchy, said the Orthodox Church usually has no strong position on the changing of names, but this case was different.
“If a person says they are the Messiah, then they are either, if you’ll excuse the expression, a psycho or a provocateur,” Father Igor told the television channel.