Mount of Olives Church

A tragic case of faith turning fatal through ritualistic poisoning.


The Mount of Olives Church, a Pentecostal congregation located in El Charquillo, Mexico, gained notoriety for a devastating incident that occurred between 1987 and 1991. Led by Pastor Ramon Morales Almazan, the church conducted a fatal ritual that members believed allowed them to directly experience the Holy Spirit. This ritual involved lighting a butane lamp in an enclosed space with all doors and windows sealed, causing the room to fill with toxic fumes. Church members were instructed that feelings of sickness and lightheadedness were manifestations of Christ’s presence among them.

This dangerous practice culminated in a tragic event in December 1991. During a service, as congregants began to vomit and faint from the poison, Pastor Almazan encouraged them to continue worshiping, interpreting these adverse effects as divine experiences. The ritual ended with the death of 30 people, including 13 children, after relatives discovered their bodies the following day. This incident has been described as an accidental mass suicide, with victims mistakenly believing they were feeling the presence of the Lord​​.

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