Megachurch Blasts “Slanderous” Child Rape Charges Against Leader: God Made Him An Apostle Of Jesus

ABC News reports:

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. It also strongly denied the charges.

“We believe these accusations are defamation and slander of our international director, the apostle of Jesus Christ,” said church spokesman Silem García, who is not related to Joaquín García. “His position as apostle of Jesus Christ was given to him by God, and for life, and he continues to lead the church.”

The accusations were particularly painful for a church that has tried to cultivate an image for its law-abiding, hard-working, conservatively-dressing people in Mexico — a country where it claims about 1.8 million followers. Its male members favor suits and short hair, and female members wear veils that cover their hair and modest dresses. There are about 1 million U.S. members.