“The New Light of God”, Religious Sect

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have never heard of this so-called religious cult before but by this report, they have gone a barbaric killing spree in Panama.

A religious sect whose members professed to be “anointed by God” forced a pregnant woman and five of her children to walk through fire as part of a cult ritual, according to local residents.

Cult ‘anointed by God’ slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama by forcing them to walk through fire, locals say
Cult ‘anointed by God’ slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama by forcing them to walk through fire, locals say

Police reported seven villagers had been killed by the cult earlier this week, while 14 more were found by authorities the next day, bound and beaten in a temple.

The cult, known as “The New Light of God”, is made up of indigenous people who claim to be chosen by God to sacrifice non-believers, even if the heretics are members of the own families, according to residents in El Terron, Panama.

Nine villagers have been arrested and charged with murder,
reportedly including a grandfather and two uncles of the five children who died alongside their pregnant mother and a neighbor.

“Nobody expected this,” said a distraught tribal leader, Evangelisto Santo, who added that local people had largely ignored the religious group.

The sect arose after a villager returned to El Terron following a stint abroad, bringing back unusual religious beliefs with him.

“People were dancing and singing and nobody paid attention because we knew that they were in the presence of God,” Mr Santo said of the group.

That was before one of the cult members announced that he had had a vision, which told him everyone in the village had to repent their sins or die.

Last weekend, members of the sect began dragging victims into an improvised church, where they beat them into submission with sticks.

Cult members also stood with machetes ready to attack those who failed to repent to their satisfaction.

El Terron is nestled in the jungle of the indigenous Ngabe Bugle enclave on Panama’s Caribbean coast and is largely cut off from the modern world.

Many in the community, which is home to about 300 people and gets by growing yuca and rice, are Roman Catholics.

On Thursday, local prosecutor Rafael Baloyes described what investigators found when they arrived at the scene of the massacre.

“They searched this family out to hold a ritual and they massacred them, mistreated them, killed practically the whole family,” Mr Baloyes said.

“They were performing a ritual inside the structure. In that ritual, there were people being held against their will, being mistreated.

“All of these rites were aimed at killing them, if they did not repent their sins.”

Josue Gonzalez, a farmer, managed to rescue two of his children – a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy – from the attack, while a 15-year-old son escaped on his own.

However, he was not able to save his pregnant wife and five of their other children before authorities arrived by helicopter and found Mr Gonzalez’s wife, the children and a neighbour decapitated and buried.

The cult members charged in the case reportedly include Mr Gonzalez’s own father, and villagers have said two of Mr Gonzalez’s brothers had declared themselves prophets of the cult.

Andrew Chesnut, a professor of religious studies specializing in Latin America at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the incident was consistent with the practices of some extremist cults.

“Within the logic of religious sacrifices in some extremist cults, there’s no greater proof of faith than to turn over the life of a loved one or family member,” Mr Chesnut said.
Pregnant woman and five children dead in suspected exorcism
Pregnant woman and five children dead in suspected exorcism

Jose Gonzalez, left, follows his 5-year-old daughter, carried by a police officer, as they leave a hospital in Santiago, Panama. Gonzalez's wife and five of their children are among seven people killed in a religious ritual in the Ngabe Bugle indigenous community

Jose Gonzalez, left, follows his 5-year-old daughter, carried by a police officer, as they leave a hospital in Santiago, Panama. Gonzalez's wife and five of their children are among seven people killed in a religious ritual in the Ngabe Bugle indigenous community

A pregnant woman and five of her children were found dead in a jungle community in Panama following what is believed to have been a violent “satanic” ritual.

Police freed 15 others, who were members of the Ngabe Bugle indigenous group and had been allegedly rounded up by lay preachers to be tortured so they would “repent their sins”, said authorities.

Investigators discovered the bodies in a mass grave after locals alerted authorities last weekend about several families being held against their will by a religious sect called The New Light of God.

The sect had been performing rituals and exorcisms inside a makeshift “church” in a remote area about 250km from Panama City.

A freshly dug grave was found about a mile from the church building and contained the bodies of five children as young as a year old, their pregnant mother, and a 17-year-old female neighbor.

The survivors suffered bodily injuries after being tied up and beaten with wooden cudgels and Bibles, burned, and hacked with machetes.

He added they found a naked woman, alongside machetes, knives and a ritually sacrificed goat inside the building.

The rituals had been ongoing since Saturday when one of the members had a vision that “God had given them a message”, said Mr Baloyes.

Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of murder, including the grandfather of the dead children and a minor, and charged with deprivation of liberty, homicide and sexual abuse, reported the New York Times.

A hearing will be held on Friday, said the Public Ministry of Panama.

Ngabe Bugle zone leader Ricardo Miranda called the sect “satanic” and said it went against the region’s Christian beliefs.

He said: "We demand the immediate eradication of this satanic sect, which violates all the practices of spirituality and co-existence in the Holy Scriptures."

The sect had been operating locally for about three months and its beliefs and affiliations were not known.

The area is so remote that helicopters had to be used to ferry the injured out to hospitals for treatment. They included at least two pregnant women and some children.
 
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