LIFESTYLE

Seventh-Day Adventist Church baptizes more than 4,000 in mass ceremony

YARDENIT, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 01:  Brazilian Evangelist Christians raise their arms in prayer during their mass baptism ceremony in the Jordan River on October 1, 2007 at Yardenit in northern Israel. The group of 700 worshippers descended in the biblical river as part of their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

YARDENIT, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 01: Brazilian Evangelist Christians raise their arms in prayer during their mass baptism ceremony in the Jordan River on October 1, 2007 at Yardenit in northern Israel. The group of 700 worshippers descended in the biblical river as part of their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)  (2007 Getty Images)

Seventh-Day Adventists in southern Peru, working with the world church’s “Total Member Involvement” program, successfully baptized 4,210 people there on Saturday.

The baptisms took place on the Sabbath, as it’s recognized by the church, at a end of the campaign called “Mil Veces Mas,” or “A Thousand Times More."  The campaign's name was based on Deuteronomy 1:11, which reads, “May the Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you.”

The baptisms were the result of a campaign encouraging church members to give Bible study classes in their communities and to preach at 2,905 sites in 20 cities across the region between June 18 and 25.

The Adventists have about 200,000 members worshiping in nearly 3,000 congregations across Peru, according to the latest figures from the Adventist world church’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research.

Although the Roman Catholic Church has been the dominant faith in Peru, a country of roughly 30 million people, since the 1500s, Seventh-Day Adventists now make up the second-largest faith group.

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The recent mass baptism follows others across the globe.

In May, 100,000 people were baptized in Rwanda; in Venezuela in April, 4,012 people were baptized; and, in February, the Philippines saw 10,000 baptisms.

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