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José Luis de Jesús Miranda (born April 22, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is the founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), a movement that teaches the "doctrine of Grace." It is based in Miami, Florida. He claims to be both Jesus Christ returned and the Antichrist, and exhibits a "666" tattoo on his forearm.[1] He has referred to himself as "Jesucristo Hombre" which translates to "The Man Christ Jesus".[2][3] Creciendo en Gracia has been described as a cult by cult expert Rick Ross, and Freedom of Mind's Steven Hassan.[4][5][6]

Contents

Early life

De Jesus grew up in poverty in Puerto Rico. He has claimed that during this period he served stints in prison for petty theft[7]. He became a Pentecostal minister and then a member of the Southern Baptist convention.

Current movement

In 2007 the Dallas Morning News reported that De Jesus "preaches to followers in some 35 nations, mostly in Latin America, and has 287 radio programs and a 24-hour Spanish-language TV network."[8]

De Jesus has gained attention in Puerto Rico in particular, where his denomination has opened centers in Guaynabo, Arecibo, Yabucoa, Ponce and Hormigueros.

In early 2007 he acknowledged others' claims that he was the Antichrist and explained that the term is true. It applies because people are no longer to follow the "Jewish teachings" of Jesus of Nazareth, but rather to follow the Apostle Paul's teachings through De Jesus. According to De Jesus, "Antichrist" means "no longer following Jesus of Nazareth as he lived in the days of his flesh".[1][9]

Most recently, followers have shown their support by getting "666" tattoos on their bodies.[10] "666", De Jesus explains, is not a sign of the devil (he preaches that the devil was destroyed), but the number of the Antichrist.

De Jesus and his followers celebrate Christmas each year on April 22, as this is the day De Jesus was born and therefore they claim it is the "real" Christmas[1][11].

De Jesus appears in the 2008 documentary Religulous.

References

External links

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