'Jewish Taliban' Sect Vows to Remain in Guatemala

Over 200 members of the controversial Lev Tahor community were forced out of a village amid disputes with local residents.

Members of Lev Tahor in the village of San Juan La Laguna August 24, 2014.
Reuters

Members of the controversial Haredi sect Lev Tahor are looking for a new home in Guatemala, days after they were forced out of a village amid disputes with local residents.

"We will remain in Guatemala because the seed is fertile and it has to germinate," Rabbi Uriel Goldman told AFP from the sect's temporary base in the capital Guatemala City. "We are going to look for a place where we can build the community's homes," he was quoted as saying.

Lev Tahor had maintained a small presence in San Juan La Laguna, a village about 90 miles west of Guatemala City, for about six years, but it expanded considerably in March after a contingent arrived complaining of persecution by Canadian authorities.

A little over a week ago, over 200 members of the community began leaving the village following tensions with its Roman Catholic Mayan residents.

The move was one of many recent disruptions for the group, which has been targeted with child abuse allegations in Canada.