Peoples Temple is arguably the most widely publicised of all the new religions that were to appear in the West in the second half of the 20th century. Founded in Indiana in the 1950s by James (Jim) Warren Jones (1931–1978), the movement that was to become Peoples Temple was originally a congregation within the Assemblies of God and then the Disciples of Christ, becoming more of an independent Social Gospel–style ministry with elements of the Black Church tradition by the mid-’60s when Jones moved to northern California. There the movement grew, overtly as a progressive, socially engaged organisation. However, with growing concerns being voiced in various quarters, in 1977 Jones moved with many of his followers to the Guyana jungle—a location that became known as ...

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