The Church of the Holy Death is an old Mexican-Indian cult surrounding an entity known as the ‘White Girl’ that protects her believers from harm. Often this entity is portrayed as a skeleton in a white dress and her followers believe she will gather up all the souls to take to God in the end. There are Churches of the Holy Death in northern Mexico, and followers offer bread, jewels and money to the entity’s statue or altar. With the growing violence from drug cartels in northern Mexico, many people seek out shelter in Churches of the Holy Death to escape from this. Indeed, much of the faith seems to be rooted in protection from harm and the ‘White Girl’ is not a deity, though there is a rosary prayed to her which would recall similar practices with the Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church does not recognize the sect and it doesn’t seem to be overtly Christian in belief and practice though syncretic, fusing Aztec and Catholic beliefs. It has been described as a cult surrounding a grim-reaper type figure, and the Holy Death can be depicted as either a male or female but usually draped in a robe and holding scythe or a globe. The belief has been linked to underground elements both criminal and religious in nature. Catholic Christianity has a long standing history of syncretism with indigenous faiths but the Holy Death seems to transcend past acceptable boundaries, though believers are heard to invoke the Virgin Mary, Jesus and God in their petitions.

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