Holy Death sect draw followers in violent Mexican border city

Guadalajara, Mexico - About 5,000 people were baptized by the Church of the Light of the World during its annual gathering in Guadalajara, a city in western Mexico.

Eight churches affiliated with the Christian sect welcomed the faithful, who were baptized on Saturday amid the singing of songs about salvation and the redemption of sinners.

New church members, wearing their best clothes and barefoot, were immersed in water and covered in white robes to mark the start of their new spiritual life.

Nearly 500 deacons participated in the ablution ceremonies that are part of the preparations for the Holy Supper on Sunday, an event that marks the passion and crucifixion of Christ.

The Church of the Light of the World’s growth abroad is highlighted by the number of foreigners who come to Mexico to be baptized during the gatherings, church spokesman Eliezer Gutierrez Avelar said.

One of the church’s new members is Gurbascka Kaur, a woman from India who has belonged to the sect for five months.

“I feel purer. When I came to this church for the first time, I had a lot of things going on in my life and I started to feel the change and to feel peace in my heart,” Kaur said.

The annual gathering draws members from 42 countries, offering them conferences, prayer sessions and baptisms at the sect’s headquarters and 14 other churches in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco.

The Church of the Light of the World, which has nearly 5 million members, believes in Jesus Christ but not in the saints or the Virgin Mary.