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Sin And Salvation

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 25th June 2005 3:07pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


Down a dim staircase in a place known for wild concerts and late-night partying, something very un-Vegas rings out from the depths of the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. ``Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!'' comes a woman's throaty voice. ``For the Lord is good!'' Wait. This is Vegas, den of sin, where what happens here stays here, right?

Absolutely, but inside the Sunday Gospel Brunch, not too far from the clinking slot machines and ticking roulette wheel, tourists and locals are raising their hands, tapping their feet and singing about Jesus.

This may always be Sin City, but that doesn't mean tourists can't heal their soul a bit while they're here. Two Roman Catholic churches are just a step away from the Strip, and there's always a walking preacher, warning sinners to embrace their savior.

On this sweltering afternoon, it's Eddy Rocha, a minister from Nicaragua who plans to open his own church. He tries to counter the so-called smut peddlers who pass out handbills full of pictures and phone numbers of exotic dancers.

``A lot of people come here and never hear about the word of God,'' he said from his post in front of Bally's hotel-casino. ``We try to change that. We're here to change the city.''



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