MILWAUKEE — A banner on a south side church, featuring Mexico-based megachurch leader Naasón Joaquín García, has been ordered down by the Department of Neighborhood Services.
The leader of La Luz Del Mundo was arrested and charged with child rape, human trafficking in California last month, according to our news partners at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.
The church, at 1316 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive, has until the end of the month to remove or correct the banner, the Neighborhood News Service says.
South side residents have demanded church officials remove the banner for highlighting the accused rapist, but the city is asking them to remove it for different reasons.
Municipal ordinance states that signs are to be a maximum 25 square feet per 25 lineal feet of the length of a building, unless an owner receives a special permit. The banner in question is estimated at 144 square feet, according to the Department of Neighborhood Services.
Many churchgoers from the Milwaukee chapter of La Luz Del Mundo believe their leader has been falsely accused.
"Just like our lord Jesus Christ, many believed in him, many did not," parishioner Sally Teran said. "For us, he is the apostle Naasón Joaquín García."
The church has until July 31 to remove or correct the sign, according to a violation order sent to the church by the Department of Neighborhood Services. Church officials have 20 days to file an appeal. Failing to do so, church officials could face prosecution or daily penalties ranging from $150 to $10,000.
García is being held on a $50 million bond.