La Luz Del Mundo or The Light of the World is a Christian denomination church that was founded in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1926. Aaron Joaquin Gonzalez, the church’s founder had appealed to people belonging to the poorer sections of society and offered the church as an alternative to Catholicism. In spite of the growing criticism on ritual practices in the church over the years, the group has managed to expand rapidly across the United States and in 2018 even established its first branch in the Republic of Congo.
Female members follow a strict dress code that includes long skirts, no jewellery and headscarves during religious services. When girls in the church turn fourteen, they must announce if they have decided to be baptized. These photos were taken at La Luz Del Mundo in Jackson Heights, at the 14th birthday party of Betsabe Escamille by Zoe Freilich.