Sect members hiding in cave to come out on June 14

Nikolskoye, Russia - Doom’s Day sect members who are sheltering in a Penza cave and expected to come out onto the surface on Monday have stayed on in the cave contrary to the expectations. One of the sect leaders, Vitaly Nedogon, has set a new date - June 14 - Day of Holy Trinity when the sect is to finally re-emerge from its secluded hiding place, son of the sect leader, Sergei Nedogon, told Tass on Monday.

Shortly before the fixed time when the sect members were to have come up to the surface people came up to a pipe used to communicate with them. As soon as efforts were made to resume contact with the recluses the sect started singing religious songs. They are still under a vow of silence and refuse to abandon their underground shelter. Journalists still keep close to the cave; security cordons have been partly removed. The local population has been hanging around the cave, waiting for things to happen. But nothing has happened.

Last year 35 people fearing Doom’s Day went down into the cave, situated in the settlement of Nikolskoye. In March 2008, 24 sect members, including four children, left their abode. Previously, several other people who abandoned the cave had been sent to their homeland. The rest of the sect stayed on deep in the cave.

A criminal case has been opened against the chief sect leader, Pyotr Kuznetsov, on charges of creating an association that encroaches on minds and rights of citizens and instigates religious strife.