The people of Mexico are tired of the wave of killings that has swept the country, and they're making their voices heard.
Everyday, newspapers tell of violent crimes like the one that took the life of Jonathan Legaria.
Ironically, Legaria publicly promoted the cult of death --a rapidly growing phenomenon in Mexico. Legaria's family allowed CBN News access to this property which has been turned into a shrine.
Although his mother did not share Legaria's beliefs, she had reached an understanding with him.
"We believed in different things," she said. "We talked very little to avoid having problems. We talked little about his beliefs. He believed in God, he believed in the Saints, but he also believed in Saint Death."
Believing in Saint Death
And where does she thinks her son is now?
"I believe he's with her. He said he was the son of Saint Death," she said.
We asked his widow who calls herself Professor Constance, why so many people believe in Saint Death.
"Because she has performed so many miracles," she said. "Simply that people want results, and especially also they look for a reason to live. A reason to feel good."
Pastor Natanael Pascual de Deous explains that the cult of death attracts followers because people are really looking for quick solutions to their problems.
"We know very well from the Bible that death came through Satan, and when people make a pact with death they're making a pact with the devil," he explained. "For a period of time they receive material benefits, but on the other hand the nightmares begin, and family problems, emotional breakdowns, sicknesses. A series of problems."
For Mexico, the problem has become deadly. This year, assassinations are up 47 percent.
Worship of Death
Pastor Antonio Pavòn believes the core cause is the worship of death.
"The latest reports of drug trafficking deaths, the great number of executions, the enormous pain Mexican families are experiencing because of kidnappigns and killings," he began. "I believe comes from two things. First, that cult, that has exalted death, that has been glorifying death and has been giving death all authority over our country."
Pavon says a second factor is the death of unborn infants. Over 12,000 women have sought early term abortions in mexico city since the laws changed last year. But Mexico's Christians believe they have the solution.
"It's to talk with people involved in the idolatrous cult of death. Talk with them about the real nature of death," Pavon said. "The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15 says that death is the enemy of God. People don't realize that."
The Drug Trade Connection
Although skeptics reject spiritual explanations, former drug dealer Julio Cesar Cortès says that the death cult is popular in the drug trade.
"There were times the Federal police or judicial police would come to search our house. And they searched and the drugs were under the Saint Death statue, and they searched from top to bottom with dogs and all and didn't find the drugs," he said.
But Julio saw things differently after he began to follow Jesus.
"Death came only to destroy," he said. "That's why it's death. But Jesus is life."
*Original broadcast September 26, 2008.