((Translation of article published in El Informador))
The Light of the World, an open church.
The Light of the World Church keeps permanent ties with organizations and institutions in society both governmental and academic in order to maintain an active role within their community.
Article by El Informador, April 5, 2019 – 07:00 hr
Facing an ever changing and diverse society, the Light of the World Church, led by Naason Joaquin, is known for taking an active role in society. According to Pastor Eliezer Gutierrez, “The Church takes responsibility for the role it must assume, it keeps an open mind about society and its institutions, both governmental and academic ones to keep doors open; we want to participate in this society, he commented.
An example of this, Pastor Gutierrez elaborated, is that this religious group has opened its doors to sociological, anthropological and even an architectural investigative studies by different academic institutions, like UNAM (the National Autonomous University of Mexico), Colegio de Jalisco and the Center for the Advance Studies and Investigations in Social Anthropology (CIESAS).
“In the area of Public Relations for the Church, there are departments that have been created to interact closely with academia”, Gutierrez added. The commissioner to the College of Jalisco and third level investigator of the National History and Anthropology Museum, Jose Maria Muria, assures that this religious group is characterized by their respect and by being open and welcoming to whomever wants to get to know them.
There’s also academics from the College of Mexico who investigated how this religion has developed in the world. “The Light of the World Church, is open to investigation, to academia, to everything” Pastor Nicolas Menchaca stressed, whose has been part of this community his whole life.
The Light of the World Church has also signed agreements with State and National Commissions on Human Rights, along with the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Conapred). Pastor [Gutierrez] added that with the Jalisco State Commission on Human Rights (CEDHJ), “we will host a workshop focused on training new agents who could become influencers within our nation in the all-important area of human rights.
He also assured that the goal of working with Conapred and with human rights institutions is to promote a culture of respect. “The Church has a very clear message, we believe that human dignity does not long to be tolerated, human dignity must be respected, once we understand that point of reference, we can move forward.” Pastor [Gutierrez] said.
The Church demonstrates an openness not only with academia and governmental institutions, but they also show it to same sex marriages, according to Pastor [Gutierrez] they respect the civil marriages in whichever manner society has determined it.
They encourage tourism to support openness.
The doors of the Light of the World Church are open to whoever wishes to visit. Three years ago in March, the Beautiful Province neighborhood welcomes groups of approximately 400 tourists who come to see the heart of this religion.
We coordinate with municipal government to turn this into an opportunity of greater visibility and openness to society. “During every holiday season we establish two specific dates and set up two buses to [bring tourists from] City Hall to the [Beautiful Province] neighborhood” said David Venegas, who collaborates in the area of tourism with the Church.
These tours have the goal of “opening ourselves, and to demonstrate through our hospitality, to show how we are and that we do not reject anyone, whatever opinions they may have, wherever they may come from, whatever their condition, as long as we are within a framework of mutual respect, they are most welcome,” David added.
An association for all women.
The non-profit organization Alma de Mujer y Vida (Woman’s Soul and Life) is yet another demonstration of the openness, Rocio Figueroa, and the Pastors assured; [Ms.] Figueroa coordinates the department of psychology within the organization. Its objective is to promote a life free of violence for women.
According to the psychologist, this association mostly assists women who are not part of the Light of the World Church. “We are open to society because we want to provide assistance to a social problem”, she added.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, this association was recognized by the City of Guadalajara, “along with government officials of the Human Rights and Gender Equality Building Commission, [recognizing] women and civil associations that fight for equal rights and empowerment,” were the words of former Mayor of Guadalajara, Ismael del Toro.
This organization is present in five countries: Mexico, Colombia, the United States of America, El Salvador and Spain.