A file photo of a trail left behind by a meteorite which hit Russia
's Ural region - (Reuters)
A group of people in Russia's Ural Mountains region has set up a Church of Chelyabinsk Meteorite to worship space debris.
The newly formed religious group claims that the remains of the meteorite, which hit the region in February 2013, contain "scriptures".
The 50-strong followers believe any mishandling of the orbital wreckage will trigger violence across the world. They already believe mistreatment of the spatial rocks is fuelling the ongoing Syrian civil war.
"Contact with outsiders, who treat it as an average stone, can violate the information contained in it. We already see the perturbation [because of] constant attempts to lift the meteorite in forming international instability around Syria," the founder of the group, Andrey Breyvichko, told a local television channel.
"I think it won't hurt Chelyabinsk to become a truly holy city, home to a great temple that will be the object of pilgrimage for millions of people from across the world."
He also believes the 10,000-ton rock has the potential to cause an apocalypse. He says the wreckage contains "data about the universe and a set of moral and legal norms that will help people live at a new stage of spiritual knowledge development".
The meteorite exploded over the Chelyabinsk city injuring nearly 1,600 people and damaging scores of houses. Experts said the space rock was "an ordinary chondrite". Chondrite is a common type of meteorite which falls on the earth.
The largest portion of the meteorite fell into a lake. The followers the Church of Chelyabinsk Meteorite have been holding prayers outside the lake to protect the "celestial" rock.
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