New Jerusalem: Mexico's unheard-of "holy war"

One of its leaders now in jail accused of the destruction and burning of a school

Courtesy La Jornada Michoacán.

by Eduardo Flores Campbell
November 12 2012

Throughout the history of messianic groups it has been found that some of its characteristic are that of, the separation from society, break rules, and deny any authority for the purpose to distinguish and isolate themselves from the disorder and immorality of society, trying to protect the "chosen ones" from a great catastrophe that is coming very soon, in a matter of five or ten years.

Examples of events with tragic outcomes are many, which are lead by charismatic leaders who offer alternatives to avoid the contamination of the evils of the global society, leading their followers to suffer all kinds of sacrifices, humiliation and in many cases end their lives.

Perhaps the most recent event to memory is that of the religious sect of Heaven's Gate, which was led by Marshall Applewhite that on March 26, 1997, police in San Diego, California, discovered the bodies of 39 of its members poisoned with cyanide, whom all of them had committed mass suicide because they believed that the comet Hale-Bopp was followed by an alien ship which they wanted to get onboard on.

The greatest tragedy of this kind occurred in 1978, in Guyana, where James Warren a.k.a. "Jim Jones", who was the leader of the Peoples Temple cult, caused the largest mass suicide in history where 914 people died which 200 out of that were children.

The New Jerusalem was founded in the state of Michoacan, which is located in the southern part of Mexico, where in 1973 the peasant Gabina Romero, claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary and received a message that she need to speak with pastor Nabor Cárdenas, and create a penitent town to so save themselves from an inevitable tragic fate that the world will face.

Cardenas then left the Catholic Church and became Pope Nabor, cult leader, and Romero became Mother Salome, the visionary who constantly received messages from the Virgin Mary, but then throughout the years disagreements arose from other visionaries who succeeded Mother Salome.

The purpose of the founders of the New Jerusalem was to be saved from the apocalypse, which was first announced to be in 1980, then in 1988 and the last time was in 2000.

According to Wikipedia, these people "are not allowed to read newspapers, watch television, listen to radio or music, organize dances, smoke, drink alcohol, and men have to wear their hair long.

Nobody can play soccer or any sport that uses a round ball because for them, its shape resembles that of the planet and to play with it would be like kicking or hitting the Earth.”

"They are also prohibited from having sexual relations, as God intended it, which the reason for these type of relations in the first place are to have children, but if the world is going to end, why want kids?"

After living in peace for a long time, a few months ago things changed by burning of schools and outbreaks of violence between villagers and authorities, for which the state government and the federal government strengthened its presence in the area.

Following the arrest of the controller of the order in the community, its leaders sent an ultimatum to the government and dissidents, stating that “they will have to leave the community because if they don’t, then we will take them out of town on our own, since neither the government nor the media are with us, nor we with them."

Given these cries of heretics against religious fanatics, good against evil and that of state authorities, the federal government is still silent.

The government has been very careful to not confront these people with security forces, but on October 18th arrested Cardenas Cruz, who is one of the most important figures of this religious organization, and who is believed to had the task of facing both dissidents and to carry out actions to suppress, punish or expel members who did not abide by the community rules.

Despite the importance of the media coverage of the events in recent months, it is clear that the New Jerusalem is not living through its best moments.

The number of people in the community has decreased year by year, going from more than 8,000 15 years ago to less than 4,000 today.

Aside from the expulsion of dissidents, the town’s population is beginning to reach the elderly stage, whose young people are now going outside of the village to look for work , and discouraging couples to not have children has not helped out.

Perhaps the prophecies are not as misguided and the end of the New Jerusalem is coming, but not so much for the Apocalypse in which they very much believe in, but by natural causes that occur in any town in the world.
Translation :

New Jerusalem: Mexico's unheard-of "holy war" - Noticias - SanDiegoRed