Bishop and "apostle" of congregation in United States arrested

The Mexico-based La Luz del Mundo church said Wednesday that its leader and “apostle” Naasón Joaquín García, who was arrested in California on charges of human trafficking and child rape, remains the spiritual leader of the group, which claims 5 million followers in 58 countries.

Let’s be very clear here for those not familiar with this group that La Luz del Mundo is NOT, repeat NOT, a Catholic church or congregation.

By the way, can someone move this out of Moral Theology and into News? There is no issue of moral theology here for Catholics.


This church is more of a cult than church. In Mexico people that join them often say, “I’m going to the cult.” They are closer to fundamentalist than Catholic.

The man arrested is the grandson of the founder. They are pretty well known for these crimes yet Mexico has never prosecuted them. I am hoping that this is a sign that these crimes will no longer be tolerated at all. No matter who you are, where you’re from, what religion you practice, or which political party you favor. At least in the United States.

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I don’t know much about them.
I read about it and it actually reminds me a lot of Mormons with what they believe.

I don’t know much about what Mormons believe so you may be correct. Honestly I think they worship their leader more than God. They do not celebrate Easter or Christmas so maybe they are similar to Jehovahs Witnesses as well. Apparently they are too large to be considered a cult, but that is what they are. They all dress similar, act similar, and they tend to shun non members. Most Catholics in Mexico think they prey on and take advantage of the poor. I tend to agree with that. People I know that have joined them even say that they are “going to the cult.”

I am glad he has been arrested but he is just one of many. It is nice for this to be about another religion instead of Catholics for a change.

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I’ve never met anyone in the group. Apparently they have a church in a city about a half hour from me.
Apparently they aren’t really Protestant. They are non trinitarian. And claim this leader who got arrested is an Apostle of Christ. I guess his grandfather started in the 1920s or something.
Interesting. Really though people say I’m going to join the cult?
I mean most people don’t refer to a group they are joining as a cult so that’s interesting.

Even the title of the article (composed by Fox News) seems designed to deceive the reader into thinking this is a Catholic Bishop.


Well that’s what I thought it was at first and thats why I posted it ( though I may have posted it in news regardless since it is a church who claims to be Christs church on earth), sort of reminds me of like Mormonism or Iglesia Ni Cristo now that I looked more into it.
But yes I should have picked up on the heading that says Apostle of the Church which obviously wouldn’t be a Catholic Church. As for the name of the church I thought maybe it was just a Spanish name for a church parish you know?
I was definitely wrong though after reading into it more.

Oh they are NOTHING like Catholics and think of the Catholic Church as evil. Many of the people will say they are “Christian now instead of Catholic” when they convert. Others will just shun family and friends.

I looked at a few Mormon cults after you mentioned them and yes I think that they are quite similar to some of those. They claim to be evangelical though.

Yes they say “Voy al culto” (probably because most Catholics call it “el culto”) or will say they are “Christian now.”

One of my husband’s cousins married someone whose family has been part of that group since the beginning under the grandfather. He has cut ties with all his family now. It’s sad.

Do you know of any of their distinct beliefs?

I don’t know much. I know that the ladies and men are kept separate during services and that practice actually was adopted in my husband’s Catholic Church for whatever reason. The ladies wear veils and long dresses and seem to have a dress code similar to many Pentecostal women wear. They sing during services but they don’t use any instruments. They don’t believe in having any images or statues and only pray to God. They don’t believe Jesus is God but rather God’s son and the savior of the world. They do talk about the Holy Spirit but don’t believe in the Trinity so I am confused as to what exactly the believe about the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father or what they think each role is? Not sure how to say what i mean.

The churches I’ve seen are very, very plain white to encourage prayer to the Father (simply called God) only. I do not believe they even pray to Jesus or the Holy Spirit but I might be wrong there. They think that the grandfather was called during the 1920’s to restore the original church of God and that no one was saved from when St. John died until the grandfather was “called by God”. No one now Can go to heaven without being in their church either.

The church does not celebrate Easter or Christmas and instead have “Santa cena” (Holy supper) in July or August I believe and also the celebrate May 7 for one of their apostles (not sure if it’s the grandpa, papa or son) birthday. I remember it is May 7 because that is also my husband’s birthday and I tease him about it. Or I used to before his cousin left the family to join them. You see, in Mexico, Holy Week is the week of all families gathering together. Businesses close and people from far away go home to the small villages to be with family. It’s very hurtful that they refuse to do so because even the people with no faith follow that tradition of going home to visit.

The church claims to follow the Bible only but I don’t know how they reconcile many of their beliefs with the Bible. Especially not celebrating Christmas and instead celebrating the birthday of their leader or former leader. There is also a huge gap in the wealth of the leaders and the followers. Most of the followers are very, very poor and the tithe (mandatory from what I was told). The leaders are very, very wealthy and do not tithe (also, from what I was told). There have been rumors and accusations for years of sexual abuse of women and children. There have also been rumors of possible mass suicides. They say that the claims are false but they also said the abuse claims and wealth gap are false.

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The story is from AP, not Fox News, and the the Church leader is never referred to as Bishop, or Father, or Cardinal, or any other title normally associated with the Catholic Church. The only time the Catholic Church is mentioned is to say that this Church was viewed by the ruling PRI Party in Mexico positively as a counterweight to the RCC.

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That is a good article. I did not know some of what is listed.

The biggest thing I remember hearing about Luz del Mundo is that at some point they tried to convert my husband’s town. The people ended up chasing them out of the village and they settled in a larger town farther up the mountain. Not long after they had a priest that must have been protesting some of their beliefs or something because he started seating the men on the left and the ladies on the right for Mass (opposite of Luz del Mundo). That priest died a long time ago but the practice somewhat continues. The right side of the church is ladies and small children only, but the left side has men or entire families.

Oh I see
Yah they are non trinitarian it seems.

The only thing I don’t like about all of these articles I’ve looked up is when they criticize them for girls wearing veils. One of my best friends wears a veil to mass. There is nothing wrong with that.

No not at all. Most of the ladies in my husband’s town wear rebozos to cover their heads at Mass. I wear a hat which is more cultural. My mom taught us to wear hats.

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