A video circulating on YouTube showing a mother holding her 3-year-old little son as he gets tattooed with the symbol of a Puerto Rican-born religious sect while crying hysterically is causing alarm around the web.
The tattoo drawn on the kid’s arm is the symbol of three sixes identified with the "Growing In Grace" cult, whose founder is Puerto Rican Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda or "Jesus Christ, the Man" as he prefers to call himself, reports TV show "Sevcec a Fondo."
According to the show, the video was shot in Havana, Cuba, where the cult has also been growing in followers in the last couple of years, sparking criticism and controversy after it was revealed that not just adults, but children were encouraged to mark their bodies with the emblematic tattoo.
Ancient religious beliefs expose the number 666 as the “number of the beast,” a symbolic creature described in the Book of Revelations, also called the Apocalypse, which some believe to represent a number of revelations about the end of the world. The sign is also used allegorically as a blasphemy against Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Christian messiah, and to refer to Satan.
In an interview broadcast on "Sevcec a Fondo," one of the cult members said the group tattoos their bodies as recognition of that they are "identified as God's people and with God.”
The group not only tattoos the number on their bodies, and refers to them as “God” or “Dad,” it also celebrates “Christmas” on April 22, the day De Jesús was born.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1946, De Jesus Miranda started the religious movement in 1986 after he says he witnessed angels coming down to him, and at that point he knew he was being chosen. Nowadays, the sect is based in Miami, has spread to more than 20 different countries and has a strong presence in Latin America.