This article is an excerpt and highlights from an ex-member board of La Luz Del Mundo who are raising awareness.
Edited by Dr. Cathleen Mann
WHAT IS LLDM? (La Luz Del Mundo)
WHAT IS LLDM? (La Luz Del Mundo)
The Iglesia del Dios Vivo, Columna y Apoyo de la Verdad, La Luz del Mundo, (English: Church of the Living God, Column and Ground of the Truth, The Light of the World)—or simply La Luz del Mundo—is a Christian church with international headquarters in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. La Luz del Mundo (abbreviated LLDM, or sometimes The LDM) practices a form of restorationist theology centered on three leaders: Restorer Aarón—born Eusebio—Joaquín González (1896–1964), Samuel Joaquín Flores (1937–2014), and Naasón Joaquin García (born 1969). These three men are regarded by the Church as modern day Apostles of Jesus Christ and Servants of God.
Beliefs and History:
The Church began its restoration in 1926 just as Mexico plunged into a violent struggle between the anti-clerical government and Catholic rebels. The conflict centered in the west-central states like Jalisco, where González focused his missionary efforts. Given the environment of the time, La Luz del Mundo remained a small missionary endeavor until 1934 when it built its first temple. Thereafter the Church continued to grow and expand, interrupted only by an internal schism in 1942. Apostles: Aarón Joaquín is believed to be designated the ministry of the Lord by a revelation of God, then his son Samuel; thereafter by his son Naasón. The Church is now present in more than 50 countries and has between 1 and 7 million adherents worldwide.
La Luz del Mundo describes itself as the restoration of primitive Christianity. It does not use crosses or images in its worship services. Female members follow a dress code that includes long skirts and use head coverings during religious services.
Members can sometimes be recognizable as having all-white dress code during some religious celebrations and having women dressing in long skirts and veils. To many ex-members, they have struggled in leaving the insular and strict upbringing of LLDM.
Allegations of Abuse
Samuel Joaquin Flores was reported of allegedly having sexually assaulted several members. You can see the news broadcast here it is in 3 parts but it is in Spanish:
Ricardo Rocha on La Luz del Mundo part one two and three containing interviews with victims and ex-member Moises Padilla. Later Moises Padilla was stabbed and nearly bled to death with footage posted online of his injuries here (in spanish only) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiyZzF67a6k
An ex-member speaks out publicly about the abuse that she endured under Naason Joaquin and Samuel Joaquin being a part of a group called “The Unconditionals” or “Los Incondicionales.” Her original post can be viewed here on an ex-member Reddit forum: https://www.reddit.com/r/…/comments/7wqhzr/lets_take_action/
She begins to pursue a case against Naason. Part of her evidence is later leaked here on a public ex-LLDM board on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/…/…/lldm_guilt_tripping_fear_tactics/.
LLDM members are encouraged to have pictures of Naason Joaquin hanging in their homes cars, rooms, and on the covers of their Bibles.
A member once denounced LLDM for their minister in El Salvador telling members that they should sell their blood to donate $500 (American US dollars) each for the creation of the LLDM City there. You can view the news report that aired that here: https://www.reddit.com/…/video_rtv_canal_57_apopa_news_fro…/
Ex-members report being abandoned, shunned, or punished by their family for leaving the church. Obedience to Naason is everything. There is heavy pressure on youth to go do missionary work and put their school and life on hold immediately and go to “la obra” or “the labor” which is the missionary work. They pledge their allegiance to Naason and go recruit more members around the world. Naason went as far as having an all-youth rally on October 20th, 2018 at the Houston, TX. church regarding the obra.
La Luz del Mundo’s structure and history of organizational secrecy and cover-ups, abuse along with the emphasis on loyalty to the organization and obedience to the leader has led some cult watchers that this fits the criteria of a cult.
Sources: Wikipedia, this post was originally written by several ex-LLDM members as an informational page on this Reddit board: https://www.reddit.com/r/exlldm/
These are just highlights of the Reddit information page with slight edits.