“They think that they are the only ones who are going to heaven and if you don’t go to that church you’re going to hell,” Alvarez said.

She decided to leave the church four years ago, slipping away while her parents attended a protest.

“I was terrified I was never going to see my family again,” she said, still tearful at the memory.

Alvarez still aches to see her parents, but “my aunt emailed me and said that nobody wants to talk to me anymore.”