In the context of revolutionary Mexico and a deeply Catholic region, the New Light Church established its religious empire that today extends to 50 countries.
Data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) point out that the Church La Luz del Mundo has around 180,000 faithful, but it is enough to watch videos or images of “La Gran Cena”, the annual celebration of this cult celebrated every August 14, to observe that their power far exceeds these calculations.
In the last festivity of this church based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, at least five million people gathered, says Mexican theologian Bernardo Barranco.
«The presence of The Light of the World did not emerge overnight. In 1926 it was founded by Aarón Joaquín, who had a very important popular vocation, especially with indigents from the city of Guadalajara, people who came from the countryside, to whom he gave material support, work, health care, housing, treatment of vices and , above all, trust to people who were very disadvantaged, “says the specialist in religions.
In that context of revolutionary Mexico and in a deeply Catholic region, the New Light Church established its religious empire that today extends to 50 countries.
But the rise of this church not only responds to the support of its faithful, but also to the “plummeting” of the Catholic Church in Mexico and Latin America in the face of the escalating popularity of Pentecostal churches.
“These groups took advantage of the gap, especially at the grassroots level, left by the Catholic Church, because the Popes prioritized movements such as Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ, which are movements of the urban middle class and abandoned the popular sectors. These sectors were filled by these Churches, “explains Barranco.
As with other religious groups, The Light of the World has also created a close relationship with the political power of the country.
One of the clearest manifestations of this interaction occurred on May 16, when politicians such as Senator Martí Batres and deputy Sergio Mayer attended the tribute for the 50 years of the “apostle” Naasón Joaquín García, held in Fine Arts.
Garcia faces at this time accusations by the US justice for trafficking, abuse of children and produces child pornography between 2015 and 2018.
Evangelical churches like Luz del Mundo were an important part of the political capital of today’s president of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“He is focused on the most popular sectors and it was in the evangelical churches where a belt was hovering, because the root of all these churches are making a fundamental popular base, the political and religious market is the same, in such a way that the opening AMLO is the largest opening that any other president has had towards evangelicals, “he says.
An example of this “openness” of the federal executive with these churches, he points out, is the alliance between AMLO and the Social Encounter Party (PES), and highlights as worrying the influence on the public agenda that these conservative groups may have.
“We should ask ourselves what are the scope and limits of this opening of the government of the fourth transformation to these groups that limit the participation of women, are against same-sex marriages and other similar issues,” ends Barranco.
Naasón Joaquín García, leader of the church La Luz del Mundo, was arrested in California, United States, accused of trafficking, child abuse and producing child pornography between 2015 and 2018.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the arrest and charges against the religious leader.
“Crimes such as those alleged in this complaint have no place in our society,” said the attorney general in agreement with the Sol de México .
“We must not turn a blind eye to sexual violence. At the California Department of Justice, we will do everything possible to prevent and combat these atrocious crimes so that our communities are safe, “said Becerra.
Other accused persons are Alondra Ocampo, Azalea Rangel Meléndez and Susana Medina Oaxaca, all affiliated with La Luz del Mundo.
On May 16, the Palace of Fine Arts was the scene of the homage for the 50 years of the Apostle Naasón Joaquín García, leader of the Evangelical Church La Luz del Mundo. The building had never been used to issue religious messages.
The Association of Professionals and Entrepreneurs of Mexico convened the homage of the religious leader with the presentation of the opera The Guardian of the Mirror.
Even Mexican politicians like the governor of Jalisco congratulated the religious leader for his birthday.
The Mazatlan Post