'Anti-Christ' hides from the law, ex-wife

March 11, 2009 at 5:43 PM
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MIAMI, March 11 (UPI) -- A Miami evangelist who claims to be the anti-Christ remains in hiding while his followers say he is being persecuted by his ex-wife and the courts.

Some of Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda's disciples demonstrated Tuesday outside family court, The Miami Herald reported. They wore T-shirts carrying the numbers 666, said by some Christians to be the "mark of the beast" from Revelations.

De Jesus, founder of the Growing in Grace church, at first claimed to be Jesus Christ. Last year, he announced that he was the person following Christ and therefore the anti-Christ.

But a judge decided last year that his ministry is a business, not a religion, and ordered him to split the assets with his former wife. Robert Pineiro awarded Josefina de Jesus Torres $2.2 million.

De Jesus remains in hiding to avoid arrest for contempt of court, communicating with his followers through videos. Many of them say that his legal troubles only strengthen their faith because Jesus also had trouble with the law.

"It just makes me more secure," Angel Toro told the Herald. "His persecution means he's really divine."

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