On Monday morning, Darrell Lars Oathes, a 40-year old Oakland resident, was caught in the act of vandalizing the La Luz del Mundo chapel at 2167 Central Avenue in Alameda. La Luz del Mundo—or The Light of the World—is a Christian denomination headquartered in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The congregation has churches throughout North and South America and is led by Samuel Joaquin Flores, a man believed by the church’s followers to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. Members of La Luz del Mundo preach Christian tenants, teachings that were the focus of Mr. Oathes’ attacks.
“Officers were called to the scene after neighbors reported the strong smell of paint coming from the church,” said an Alameda Police Department spokesman. At 9:30am, when four officers arrived at the scene, Mr. Oathes was found writing satanic and anti-Christian symbols on a church wall. Officers reported that “the alter and every wall of the church was covered in spray paint.”
(Warning – this video contains explicit language and images)
Mr. Oathes, whose artwork can be found on YouTube (shots of his work transition to the lyrical refrain of, “I am the Antichrist, I am the Devil”) was charged with two civil rights violations, obstruction of arrest, vandalism of a place of worship and breaching Section 11411 of California’s Penal Code which makes it a misdemeanor to desecrate religious symbols. Although nothing was stolen and the church was unlocked when Mr. Oathes entered, he was also charged with burglary, a charge that attaches when an individual enters a building and subsequently commits a felony.
Members of the La Luz del Mundo preferred not to comment.