Over 310,000 People Gather for Religious Festival in Mexico

Latin American Herald Tribune/August 15, 2010

Guadalajara, Mexico - More than 310,000 people from 43 countries gathered at La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World) church for the Holy Supper (Santa Cena, in Spanish), the sect’s most important annual celebration which is held at its world headquarters, church spokesmen said on Sunday.

During the ceremony, held during the week of the Holy Assembly, which concludes on Sunday, the pastor of Luz del Mundo, or LLDM, Samuel Joaquin Flores, evoked Jesus Christ’s last night on earth.

Assisted by 100 bishops and dozens of deacons, the leader distributed bread and 2,500 liters (about 660 gallons) of unfermented grape juice among 15,000 of the faithful who gathered beginning early on Saturday at the Protestant Christian sect’s main church, as well as among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who had flocked to the streets around the 14 other church locations.

Despite the rain that fell from time to time over the city, the pilgrims of all ages observed the ceremony on huge television screens set up outside the main entrances of the churches.

In addition, the bread and "wine" were distributed simultaneously to about 300 prisoners serving their sentences in a prison in Jalisco state, all of whom recently joined the church.

Within the framework of the ceremony, 12 new deacons from Costa Rica, the United States, France, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico were consecrated.

The same church sources said that the number of faithful attending the ceremony exceeded all expectations, noting that in the past two days about 10,000 more pilgrims than had been expected had arrived in the city.

The ceremony, which lasted about six hours and ended at midnight, was monitored by police and a helicopter from the Jalisco state Civil Protection Unit which overflew the area.

The Luz del Mundo church has about 5 million members all around the world.

The week of the Holy Assembly began on Aug. 9 and concludes Sunday with the departure of the pilgrims who traveled from all over the globe to be present at their sect’s most important festival.

The Luz del Mundo church is founded on a Pentecostalist doctrine centered around two charismatic leaders: first Eusebio Joaquin Gonzalez, known as "Aaron the Apostle" to his followers, and since 1964, his son Samuel Joaquin Flores known as "the Servant of God."

The millenarian church also teaches that the end of days is imminent and that only Luz del Mundo members will achieve salvation.

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