Self-Proclaimed 'Antichrist' to Hold Global Conference Despite Ban
Friday , April 20, 2007
GUATEMALA CITY —
Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda says he is coming to Guatemala — whether the Central American nation wants him or not.
Guatemala and neighboring Honduras and El Salvador have banned the former evangelical priest, arguing he is a security risk because of potential conflicts with Roman Catholic and evangelical groups. But Miranda still plans to fly in on a private jet Saturday to celebrate his 61st birthday and hold a global conference with thousands of followers.
"It has been predestined and angels will make it happen. He is, after all, God himself," said Axel Poessy, Miranda's media director.
If divinity is not enough, Miranda's right-hand man, Carlos Cestero, argues that Guatemala cannot bar U.S. citizens. "He will come and try to enter," he said.
The impending showdown is Miranda's latest attempt to rally his followers in Central America. Members of his church, which is based in Doral, Florida, have torn up images of saints and other religious symbols in El Salvador, and marched in Guatemala and Honduras.
Miranda often takes aim at the Catholic Church, calling all priests child molesters and saying chastity vows go against the Bible's teachings.
In Guatemala, Congress labeled him a terrorist and immigration officials have been instructed to refuse him entry to the country. It was not clear, however, if the government would be able to block his private jet from landing.