Tom Cruise is not just one of Hollywood's leading actors, he is also the new 'Christ' of Scientology, leaders of the religion apparently believe.

Reports in the Sun newspaper claim that he has been told he is the "chosen one" to spread news about the faith.

Leader David Miscavige also believes that in years to come the Mission: Impossible actor will be worshipped like Jesus for his efforts to raise the profile of the religion, according to the British tabloid.

A source said to be close to Cruise told the paper: "Tom has been told he is Scientology's Christ-like figure.

"Like Christ, he's been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right."

Cruise joined the Church Of Scientology in the 1980s. It was founded by L. Ron Hubbard and is, according to its website, "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life".

At Cruise's wedding last year to the actress Katie Holmes the pair were reported to have chosen a Scientology ceremony but held a Catholic blessing later to appease her parents.

23/01/2007 16:07:05