- Other Apps
A retired bus driver who believes he is the second coming of Jesus Christ says he will run to become Burnley’s next member of parliament in 2020 in an attempt to shake up British politics.
John Edward Birtwhistle, 77, changed his name to Jesus Christ by deed poll in 1996, saying he had “healing powers” and that he was the son of God in a past life.
He has drawn up his own manifesto of policies including weekly bin collections, free bus passes for the over-60s, scrapping the TV licence and children being taught at home by their parents.
“People are fed up with politicians. The first-past-the-post system is wrong. Nigel Farage’s UKIP received 3 million votes but they didn’t get a single MP into Parliament,” Christ told Mail Online.
“In time, I’m hoping to get the power in Parliament to change things.
“Two thousand years ago I went against the government. I told them who I was, what I was there for and that the people were going to have a better life. They got rid of me because I went against the government. They crucified me.
“I’m hoping by 2020 I’ll be in a position to stand.”
The pensioner came to believe he was the Messiah in 1986 while he was running a B&B, after people unexpectedly started calling him Jesus.
The grandfather says he was reluctant to accept his true identity as the Messiah at first, but could not deny his healing powers.
“One day, out of the blue, a customer came in and went down on one knee and called me Jesus,” Christ says.
“Then it happened again within the same week. I was called Jesus by a lady and I said, ‘I’m not.’ I thought, ‘What’s happening here?’ I couldn’t understand it.
“Things started to happen, like healing. I thought, ‘I’ve never done that before in my life.’
“One of my customers was coming down the stairs and fell. He really badly injured his neck. So I went over and I just put my hands on him and said, ‘Are you alright, I hope you’re not hurt.’
“He said, ‘No, I’m alright now.’ It must have damaged his neck and it went straight right away. I thought, ‘This is strange.’
“They’re calling me Jesus and this person fell down the stairs, injured his neck badly and this healing took place instantly. I thought there must be something in this.”
Soon after he “healed” the guest at his B&B, he says he gave away his business to friends and for three years slept rough in Burnley.
Christ then cycled to London to live homeless there so he could “feel the suffering” of others, sleeping on park benches and going through bins to find food to eat.
He says he remembers being Jesus Christ in a past life, with memories coming back to him in dreams.
“When I was here 2,000 years ago I was teaching these people how to live in harmony with the spirit and it was all to do with nature; grow your own food, eat fruit and veg and only drink water,” he said.
Speaking about the future, Christ says there will be more climate change and violence coming, and Britain should not get involved in any more wars.