April 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial
He calls himself the Antichrist, wears the number 666 tattooed on his arm and claims a following of 2 million people. And Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is coming to Guatemala whether it wants him or not.
The Central American country has banned the leader of the Florida-based Growing in Grace church, arguing he is a security risk because he provokes conflict with Roman Catholics and evangelicals. But Miranda still plans to fly in on a private jet today to celebrate his 61st birthday and meet with thousands of followers from around the world. “It has been predestined, and angels will make it happen,” said Axel Poessy, Miranda’s media director. “He is, after all, God himself.”
He preaches that sin and the devil do not exist. In January, he revealed tattoos of the numbers 666 on his forearms and declared that he and his followers were Antichrists because their beliefs supersede those of Jesus Christ.
(In Guatemala, a follower of Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda holds a baby with SSS painted on her head. The letters stand for Miranda’s motto, “salvo, siempre salvo,” or “saved, always saved.”)