The New Mormon Invasion to Guatemala

Rudy Giron: &emdash; The New Mormon Invasion

As I explained back in September 2011, I am seeing more Mormons in and around Antigua Guatemala than usual. Now the interesting part is that instead of just men, now you can see a lot women missionaries.

According to commenter Fulano, “The Mormon church (officially called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) actually baptizes over 300,000+ converts per year worldwide.” In the comments, Nathan added: “Church here is alive and well with 90% local members about 10% are expats like me. THE church is strong and growing fast. THE people that join the church here as everywhere do so because they are looking for something better than what they have. The church offers them the gospel of Christ and they embrace it.” For additional interesting information about the Mormon in Antigua Guatemala, read the comments on the post Mormon Meet Up in Antigua Guatemala.

Since my last report, I have seen a new church in San Pedro Las Huertas, aside from the one on 1a avenida norte in Antigua Guatemala. Do you guys know if there are more Mormon churches around La Antigua?

© 2014, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • norm

    A bit of a tickle: I had a friend who shared my interest in old buildings, we decided to go tour an old farm in my area where the Mormons got started-do the tour. The staff lets us in, puts us in seats in an old dinning hall to give a little lecture. The lecture was a recruiting talk. About ten minutes into the spiel, my friend asks where the bathroom is and the lecture/recruiting guy sends him outside to a modern bathroom. Well, he does not return, I’m looking out the window and see him slinking back to the car-the man had jumped ship. A good excuse for me to do so as well. The building tour had too high of a price.

    • What an anecdote Norm, don’t we all have stories like the one you just shared with us? Let’s hope more people come forward with theirs.

  • sompopo

    Is the influx of Mormons really considered an invasion? or are they welcomed?

    • Everyone is welcomed, especially so the sompopos de mayo in May. 😉

      • sompopo


  • Eli

    Y eso que nunca estuviste cuando secuestraban el bus prácticamente. Tu te subías al bus en el mercado, en la tarde cuando va bien lleno porque todos salen den trabajo, tipo 6pm. Los buses hasta cerraban la puerta, te daban una plática y luego pasaban a cada lugar preguntándole a cada uno sus datos: nombre?, dónde vivías?, a qué horas estaban en tu casa?, a qué horas podían pasar?, qué hacías?, la única forma de escapar era haciéndote el dormido, lo que hice muchas veces… XD

    • Gracias Elizabeth por compartir tus experiencia, la idea es crear un arco iris de puntos de vista para así poder acercarnos a una visión más completa.

    • Eric

      Lo siento, Eli. He vivido anecdotas similares en Solola, en que todos estan en las camionetas, preguntando las mismas preguntas. Y los grupos evangelicos norteamericanos, tambien. Pues, es una cosa de ellos, solo espero yo, que ellos den en cuenta, que hay personas viviendo en Guatelinda, que dependan en transportacion publica, que tengan mucho sueno despues de trabajar bien duro todo el dia, y que solo quieran descansar. 🙂

  • Secularist

    Guatemala is referred to as Zarahemla in the Book of Mormon. Quetzalcohatl is identified in many stories as being Jesus in the American Continent. The religious argument is how could God had forsaken an entire part of humanity by only spreading the word in the other continents and not in the Americas. Religious arguments aside, I see value in religious indoctrination that create human beings with good moral values, strong character, with respect for others. Granted that men and women are seeing as having different roles, it seems that the alternatives, evangelical Christians and Catholics, have failed to help create a society that can be governed, that values education and has a strong dedication to the family. I know I am being controversial, but I base my observations on facts of daily life, and yes I was a Mormon for 10 years, a catholic for 21, Hindu for 3, Buddhist for life, and human secularist by choice. I welcome Mormons to Guatemala, because we are not ready for the best alternative, to be moral by choice, to be secular humanist here on Earth without the false promises all churches make if we just behave. Behave well, just for your own and your societies sake!

    • Excellent contribution Secularist; I really hope one day humanity will not religion because our internal ethical compass is sufficient to act correctly always in pro of our social circles from the family all the way to the last corner of the universe.

  • SCJ

    I have personally known Mormon missionaries. They have to do 2 years of public preaching or spreading the word as it is in the book of mormon. In order for the church to pay for their college fees. They often opt for Latin America because it is warm and friendly and not in mayor conflict compared to other places. I would call it an invasion because I don’t think anybody sent them invitations. I know they sometimes trick people. In Nicaragua they went around saying they were guna show a movie and loads of people showed up except it was a movie about their church. Here in Canada they got my mothers attention and they kept showing up every other day. One day my mom was moving and she said you come almost everyday that’s great cause u can help me move, she never saw them ever again.

  • Luis F. Prieto

    We are a sorry crowd indeed if we “need” the religious indoctrination to be good. I see
    it the other way around, not only Catholics, Generic Xtians, and the rest have
    failed to create a better society because that is not their role, humans do not
    need religion to be moral, good, etc. That is something that develops with time
    and many other factors. Religious oligarchs are responsible for centuries of
    wars, famine, guilt, theft, tolerance and impunity towards violence against
    women, children (pedophilia) etc. Since we are talking about the Mormons (just
    as ridiculous as being a Witness or a scientologist in my opinion) they removed
    all their racist propaganda against blacks just because it was politically
    incorrect. Let’s face it, some of us have actually read what was their official
    position towards certain social groups, how Joseph Smith started as a con
    artists, was able to trick a weak bunch into his cult, made money out of them, how he later tried to gain political office in NY and was finally shot and killed. Everyone is welcome to Guatemala, but
    please, stop the fishing of adepts because of your personal idea of god. Everyone
    has the right to believe in whatever, a rug, across, a camel, etc….. out of politeness,
    they should keep it to themselves.

  • Elí Orozco

    Rudy, Mormons around Antigua are nothing compared to those you see in Peten. Peten is the area really invaded by Mormons. They have set up churches as far as Melchor de Mencos, and across the border in Belize they have a huge presence too.
    They don’t bother me, they had knocked my door a few times, but after I explained them my Post-theism, they stopped coming.
    In fact I kinda admire they persistence and passion for what they believe. A person who is willing to go door to door knocking and having doors slammed in the face and can find the courage to keep ongoing is worth of admiration and respect.

  • kd

    I have encountered Mormons missionaries in Guatemala — and Mormon parents coming to visit their kids after two years of missionary work. I am Jewish, by tradition and teaching we do not believe in proselytizing. Jews have been the victims of much forced conversion and somewhat less coercive assimilation pressure over the course of history. (¿Puede decir “Conversos” o “Marranos”?) In the Americas, I would think thoughtful Christians would think twice about proselytizing. So much was done here by fire and sword that the decimation of communities and culture by this onslaught still echoes through the centuries.

  • kd

    Y una cosa mas: One can be humanist, moral, and ethical, without religious underpinning! Even in the present day, not in some future utopia. On the other hand strong religious faith or piety does not appear to be any guarantee of ethical behavior, morals, or nonviolent approach to conflict especially to those outside one’s community of faith.

  • Eduardo mendez

    C Real a Jocotenango 18 F Frente a Loti, Jocotenango
    21 Av entre 2a y 3a Calles Z 1, Ciudad Vieja

    There are just but a few of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints meeting houses around Antigua, everyone is welcomed!

  • Joyce Germer

    I am a Mormom and I am on this site because I just wanted to learn a little about Antigua. You should welcome the Mormons, for one thing most of them have money. They are good neighbors. Missionaries don’t party very hard at all. They don’t drink or smoke, and they watch their language.

    • Thanks Joyce for sharing Mormons view. It is good to know.