Church of Reconciliation in Mexico City Is Home for LGBT Believers
Reverend Alejandro Gonzalez of the Church of Reconciliation married Mario Fuentes, right, and Mario Mendez (Marcela Figueroa/Al Jazeera)
The altar has fresh candles, the flowers are immaculately presented, the organ is placed discreetly to one side, while a lectern stands to the other. The reverend is putting on his raiment in the sacristy while a packed congregation waits in their Sunday best for the service to start.
It could be just about any church around the world. But at a closer look, visitors can see the Jesus icon above the altar with a large rainbow haloed around him.
Rainbows are a big deal in the church. They are in the wall hangings, painted above a dove, draped around the ceiling. When Reverend Alejandro Gonzalez emerges, his robe is also embroidered with one.
The church located in a backstreet in the lower-middle-class district of Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, is called the Church of Reconciliation. The writing outside its door says it all: 'God loves you, just as you are'.
It provides a place of worship and acceptance for LGBT believers in the capital city - although it is open to people of all sexual orientations.
"The church has an inclusive vision of God based on the message of Jesus. When he came to the world, many people were excluded from the church, from the presence of God," Gonzalez told Al Jazeera. "Our church took Jesus's message when it started to say to sexually diverse communities: 'God is your God; he loves you as you are.'"
The church, founded 35 years ago, has survived threats, graffiti, even dead chickens left outside. But today, it is packed for a wedding.
Read the rest at Al Jazeera
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