Guadalajara – Some 300,000 people from 43 countries took part over the weekend in the Holy Supper, the most important festival of the Church of the Light of the World, a Christian sect based in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara, church spokesmen told Efe.
Church members clothed in white packed the streets Sunday in Guadalajara's Hermosa Provincia district, where the sect's main church is located, watching the service on large-screen televisions.
Samuel Joaquin Flores, the church's leader, marked Jesus' last supper with the apostles during the six-hour event.
Some 2,000 ministers distributed 350,000 pieces of bread and 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons) of wine to the faithful.
Flores, who is recovering from a recent illness, was unable to take part in the traditional procession to other nearby churches.
The procession is used to greet the faithful who travel to Guadalajara from other countries and different parts of Mexico, church spokesman Eliezer Gutierrez Avelar told Efe.
The media was banned from the church where Flores presided over the ceremony and delivered his sermon to protect the event's sanctity, marking the first time this has been done, Gutierrez Avelar said.
A large number of police officers and other public safety personnel were deployed in the area to provide security.
The Church of the Light of the World's annual gathering started on Aug. 7.
About 5,000 people were baptized on Saturday at eight churches affiliated with the Christian sect.
New church members, wearing their best clothes and barefoot, were immersed in water and covered in white robes to mark the start of their new spiritual life.
Nearly 500 deacons participated in the ablution ceremonies that were part of the preparations for the Holy Supper, an event that marks the passion and crucifixion of Christ.
The church's annual gathering draws members from around the world, offering them conferences, prayer sessions and baptisms at the sect's headquarters and 14 other churches in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco.
The Church of the Light of the World, which has nearly 5 million members, believes in Jesus Christ but not in the saints or the Virgin Mary.