Jesus of Suburbia -- Has He Risen Again in Houston, Texas?


De Jesus says things like murder and theft are crimes, but not sins, and that people are punished for these crimes on earth. "Heaven doesn't have anything to do with your behavior," he says.

And de Jesus practices what he preaches: He loves women and has been married twice. He smokes cigarettes and while enjoying a glass of scotch, he says, "Jesus drank wine because he didn't have Dewar's."

De Jesus doesn't mind that his ministry often gathers in the corner tavern. "Like my former, Jesus of Nazareth, he used to go to places like this and the religious people, they used to criticize him. … I'm just doing the same kind of thing."

But he does draw the line: no drugs, and he says no getting drunk.

"Jesus never got drunk and I never get drunk. I enjoy life. I enjoy everything that I do."

'The Super Raza'

De Jesus has come a long way from Puerto Rico, and those rough times. Today his believers give money freely. And where does all the money go? Joane de Jesus, the daughter of the man called Jesus, is the official accountant for the ministry. She says, "What you see as luxuries are gifts that members have given him. They're just very grateful, and they want to give him gifts."

There are no rules in de Jesus' church. Anything goes when you follow "Jesus of Suburbia." But he is serious about being the Second Coming of Christ. And along with his followers, he also has many detractors. Some who think he's the devil incarnate and others who think he's just a charlatan and a con man. One of the things that makes him so hated, so controversial, is that he preaches the Catholic Church is evil, and his followers burn pictures of the pope and hold protests outside churches.

And what about the children who grow up in his movement believing that Jesus is alive and well? He calls them the "super raza" or the super race, because they are being brought up pure and with no stain of false religion on them.

The de Jesus ministry is growing, with big followings in Venezuela, Columbia, even Cuba, and the man who believes he is the Second Coming of Christ is now turning his attention to America.

"Miami is the bridge for all nations," he said. "That's where Hispanics are, and then eventually I'm going to find a lot of beautiful English-speaking people who will want to believe in me and I'm going to have millions of them."

Associate Producer Caroline Borge contributed to this report.

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