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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Mexicans Wooed by Church Promising Miracles for Cash


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Their eyes wet with tears and their ears ringing from the wails and piped music of a ritual blessing, a group of women hastens up to the altar, each clasping banknotes worth two days' wages for many Mexicans.

"Who can give 200 pesos or more? Come up now," a young, slick-suited bishop purrs into a microphone, as pastors in ill-fitting dark suits with the menacing look of nightclub bouncers hold out a crimson velvet bag for the green notes worth roughly $18.

"We want the best from God so we must give him the best. Come along, quickly," he says, in a strong Brazilian accent.

With Catholicism losing its lure for some, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), a Brazil-based evangelical Christian group that promises miracles for cash, is spreading fast in Mexico, the second-biggest Catholic country after Brazil.

Its global annual income is now pegged at some $1 billion, raised by millions of followers in more than 50 countries from Angola to Venezuela, including the United States and Europe.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/1/21 14:19Profile

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