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Wednesday, 12 March 2014



Owobusobozi Bisaka 
By Christine W. Wanjala

Posted  Monday, March 3  2014 at  02:00
In Summary
Recently,  hundreds of mourners buried the self-proclaimed prophet, Wilson Bushara, at Bukoto village in Nakaseke District. Bushara’s followers spoke of how they believe their spiritual leader will miraculously rise from the grave and are waiting for the miracle. Bushara is certainly not the only man to have claimed to have spiritual high powers. We look at some people around the world, dead and alive who have claimed to be God or Jesus

One thing the world’s religions seem to agree on is that God is immortal. So when mortal man claims divinity, he is seen as challenging the authority of God, being a heretic or just crazy. But every now and then someone will still rise and make the claim and incredibly convince enough people to have a following. Here are some of the best known God claimants in the last century, at least.
Owobusobozi Bisaka
He was Desteo Bisaka, a regular teacher and Catholic catechist in Kibaale, western Uganda, until 1980 when he reported a revelation where powers to heal and save were vested in him. With this new conviction, he then left the Catholic faith and founded his own church, Faith Unity in 1981.

He also changed his name to Owobusobozi (he who is all able) and wrote a book his followers use as their Bible. Bisaka’s followers who are concentrated in Kibaale, Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Mubende believe he is God himself and will take off their shoes and kneel when approaching his presence. They also emulate deity by wearing white clothing to worship and practice polygamy. The 83-year-old Bisaka has five wives.
Moon Sun Myung
He founded the Unification Church which had large followings in the United States and South Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. The church is famous for its mass weddings. To mark Moon’s 90th birthday the church held a wedding of 40,000 couples.

Moon who was born in North Korea and was raised Presbyterian claimed he saw a vision of Jesus aged 15 and it was revealed to him that he, Moon, was anointed to represent the kingdom of heaven on earth. Still, he managed to go on and train as an electrical engineer in Japan. He later moved to South Korea and founded his church.

Moon and his followers said he was Jesus Christ reincarnated for the purpose of finishing the work Jesus was unable to finish owing to his early death by crucifixion.

He believed humanity would be restored to perfection through a sinless generation born of the couples he blessed. At one point he declared himself the saviour of humanity and that he and his wife were the parents of true humanity.
Moon died in 2009 at 92 years, of several complication including kidney failure and pneumonia.
Inri Christo
This man’s pictures bear a striking resemblance to the depictions of portraits of Jesus, down to the long white robes, the crown of thorns, the beard and pose with eyes upturned hands on the heart. It is so because Inri Christo has planned the world to see him like Jesus.

The 66-year-old Brazilian is convinced he is Christ reincarnate and has travelled the world over 40 years teaching as Jesus. Born Alvaro Theiss, he started claiming to be Jesus reincarnated in 1979, after a fast in Chile where he claims God spoke to him saying, “I am your father the God of David and Jacob”.
For his manner of dressing and his utterances he has become persona non grata in several countries. He has also been arrested over 40 times in the over 40 years he has made the claim.
Shoko Asahara
Before he realised he was a deity, he was Chizuo Matsamoto, a half blind herbal medicine drug peddler in Japan. When he ran into trouble with the local authority for running an illegal pharmacy, he decided to change careers and turned to studying religion. He focused on astrology and Taoism and spent some time in India.
In 1987 he changed his name to Shoko Asahara and founded his religious cult Aum Shrinikyo (religion of truth) which blended Christian Budhist, Taoist, and Hindu teachings. Asahara claimed the world was surely going to get destroyed and he was the saviour who would deliver the spiritually pure.

People followed him in droves and his sect at one time had over 10,000 followers throughout Japan and a handful in Russia.
The end of the beginning came when it emerged that some of his members killed several people by releasing sarin gas in a train carriage.

During the trial he was charged as a mastermind of a plot to topple the government and install himself as emperor. After an eight-year-long trial (1996-2004) he was sentenced to death. By then his sect had been renamed and remaining members disowned. He remains in prison.
Jim Jones
Jones was an American secondary teacher who found his true calling in evangelism and founded a church called the People’s Temple. When he claimed divinity he also cast a wide net saying he was Jesus Buddha, Gandhi and Lenin. He managed to grow the Peoples Temple to several thousand followers from 1956 to the 70s.

For all Jones’ life, work and claims to divinity, it was his death that he remains very well known for. Jim Jones died in 1978 along with over 900 followers who had followed him to Guyana, the location of a church commune. The followers had drunk poison while he died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Sergei Torop
Torop is better known as Jesus of Siberia for his claim to be reincarnate son of God. Like Jesus, he moved on from a regular day job to preaching the gospel. He also wears flowing robes and gives sermons on a nearby hill. Unlike Jesus though, he was a policeman and was actually fired in 1990. Shortly after is when he started saying he got a revelation of his divinity.

Also known as Vissarion, Torop, from Russia, has devoted his life to living true to his claim of being Jesus. He wears long flowing hair, his robes are always white and he wears a beatific smile as that depicted on paintings and sculptures of Jesus. Torop’s followers who number in thousands also measure time according to the length of his life. Because Torop is 49, in their world this is the year 50.
Arrifin Mohammed
Mohammed is a Malaysian man who was born and raised Muslim. In the 1970s when, he was 30-years-old, he started sharing a vision he claimed he had, when he was sick at around the age of 10. Apparently, angels visited him and told him of his true identity: God, or the King of the sky as he liked to be called. In 2005, 62-year-old Mohammed renounced Islam and professed that not only was he Jesus reincarnated, he was also Muhammad, Buddha, Shiva as well as the supreme deity of all religions.

His sect called The Sky Kingdom had unusual holy items including a giant teapot and vase in their compound of their headquarters. The headquarters were later destroyed by the Malaysian government and the followers who were not arrested scattered. Mohammed fled to exile in Thailand.
Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda
“The spirit that is me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth,” Miranda is quoted to have said. Like most claimants, he said that he had a dream at 26 where angels told him he was the one the world was expecting. He founded the Creciendo Gracia (Spanish for Growing in Grace) church in the US. At first, Miranda who is from Mexico, claimed to be Paul, a leading figure of the Bible.

As the church grew to several thousand followers, Miranda upgraded his claim to God. At odds with his claim to be God he also claimed to be the anti-Christ which he tried to explain was not necessarily evil and had the number 666 tattoo on his arm.Some members of his flock also had the same tattoo.

Miranda who claimed he was immortal was reported to have died in August last year from cirrhosis. His church members reportedly attempted to keep his passing secret.
Ryuho Okawa
Upto 1986 Ryuho Okawa was a pretty ordinary banker, like thousands other in his home country Japan. Then he quit his job and founded happy science. The religious sect today claims to have over 10 million followers around the world and has a branch in Uganda. 57 year old Okawa who is described on the sect’s website as living Buddha and the savior of the 21st century came to Uganda in 2012 for a lecture tour.
Happy science believers also say that their leader is part of the consciousness of El Cantare who is God the creator, the source of all life and being in the universe according to their belief system. Okawa also believed he has lived before on other planets as the core consciousness of El Cantare, and even had past lives on this planet as Siddhartha Buddha and Hermes (a Greek god who could move between planets).

When he first started his teachings Okawa declared he was Buddha and his wife living Aphrodite (the Greek god of love and beauty). He has since separated with his wife, authored several books, and been depicted in several happy science anime movies as the savior of Japan from the ‘tranny’ of China. Other times he is depicted as savior born to save the world.
Reverend Father M.J. Divine
He gained notoriety in the United States at around the time of the great depression. Divine believed he was the Almighty God and managed to build his God persona so well his real name is not known. MJ in full was Major Jealous Divine.

When asked to write his biography, it is said he declined, saying the biography of God would not be useful. Still, speculation was that he was born to former slave parents and ran away from home at an early age.
When a woman came out and claimed she was his mother, Father Divine told people to ignore her saying God has no mother. Well this God did have an end because Divine died in 1965.
Matayoshi Jesus
You can call him that or by his preferred name Only God Mitsuo Matayoshi. Or, Jesus Christ Matayoshi. He is a Japanese politician who is convinced and is consequently trying to convince others that he is the son of God, here to save the world.

Unlike the other claimants though, but strikingly similar to the other Japanese claimant on this list, Matayoshi’s messianic ambition is tied in with political ambition and he is also the chairman of the World Economic Community Party in Japan. He believes he will handle the last judgment of the world but within the current political system.

Despite failing at all attempts to run for political office in the last 20 years, Matayoshi believes God wants him to hold two posts, Japanese Prime minister and then UN Secretary General. In that order.
He famously tells his political opponents to commit suicide by disemboweling themselves and has on several occasions promised to send them to the flames of hell.