WKMG-TV (Orlando), May 6, 2007
A controversial religious figure who claims he is Jesus Christ incarnate with a following of millions with “666” tattoos on their bodies, filled an amphitheater in Orlando this weekend, and promised joy, peace and prosperity.
Orlando police officers stood guard around the Lake Eola amphitheater as Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, 61, arrived in the city Saturday.
Miranda, who has been banned from three countries, told Local 6 News cameras and a cheering crowd that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated.
His followers believe that Miranda’s life and his teachings replace those of Jesus of Nazareth, Local 6’s Jamie Guirola said.
“They believe that Jesus is going to come from the sky,” Juan Sanchez said. “But, that is not the way he is going to come.”
“He is here?” Guirola said.
“He is here.” Sanchez said.
Miranda said millions of people worldwide have tattooed their bodies with “666” in recognition that the second-coming of Christ has taken place, according to the report.
Miranda said he is known as God in at least 30 countries.
Local 6 reported that he was born in Puerto Rico and admits to being a recovering heroin addict. He also spent times in prison on drug and petty theft charges.
Miranda is the founder of the Miami-based Growing in Grace Ministry.