The United Nations has named the True Russian Orthodox Church, based in the Penza region of Russia, as its International April Fools for the year 2008. The church, founded by Pyotr Kuznetsov, aka Father Pyotr, was recognized for retreating into a cave in November 2007 in anticipation of the end of the world. Kuznetsov has predicted that the end will come sometime in May 2008. Members of the church recently relocated to a nearby prayer house after melting snows collapsed portions of the cave.
Representatives of Islamic organizations objected to the UN's recognition of Kuznetsov's church on the ground that the lunar-based Islamic calendar does not include a month of April and that, according to Islamic tradition, there can be no prophets after Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
"The atheist U.N. thinks it funny that a Russian dog calls himself a prophet, when instead there should be sanctions against this insult to religion," spokesman Pir al-Loof told reporters, "But God Himself is punishing the infidel, and it's okay for Him to laugh."