Peruvian Los Israelites

In the outskirts of Andahuaylas in Peru, men, women, and children wearing long robes sing songs of prayers in front of a burning fire. The top of a hill, where these people stand, overlooks a lush green valley beneath.

The sky is gloomy and it is drizzling but they continue to chant prayers for half an hour with great devotion.

They are the followers of Congregation of Jehovah (Israelite Congregation of the New Universal Pact) religion. Though Peruvian, they called themselves Los Israelites.

They take guidance from the Old Testament but do not worship Jesus. Instead, they worship Israel as the “personified place of the Old Testament”. Their religion was founded in 1955 by Ezequiel Ataucusi Gamonal whom their followers consider as a prophet. Los Israelites as they call themselves, live separated from the society. They are waiting for the apocalyptic return of Israel to Peru and consider it their duty to prepare the world for the end.

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