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Mexico authorities detain leader of religious sect

Thursday - 10/18/2012, 10:24pm  ET

MORELIA, Mexico (AP) - Authorities in western Mexico have detained a leader of a religious sect that opposes secular education on charges related to the destruction of public schools in July in the community of Nueva Jerusalen, or "New Jerusalem."

Michoacan state prosecutors say in a statement Thursday that Cardenas Cruz Salgado was detained Wednesday.

Cruz is the main civil leader of the sect's town. Residents believe Nueva Jerusalen will be the only place saved in the coming apocalypse. The sect's estimated 5,000 members believe Our Lady of the Rosary left them instructions on how to live.

The instructions include no non-religious music, no alcohol or tobacco, no television or radio, and no modern dress. In addition, there is the injunction that has landed the town in trouble _ no public, secular education.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)