Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open Doors: Mexican Believers Suffering Persecution

Believers in Santa Rita, Chiapas state, Mexico, have suffered increased persecution in recent months from caciques—powerful local leaders who are traditionalist Catholics—who oppose their Christian faith.

On September 15, caciques invaded the properties of 10 Christian families. They took over the farming plots in their backyards, denying the families access to their primary food source.
The caciques also forbade residents of Santa Rita to buy food from markets owned by Christians… or to hire Christian men to work as laborers or construction workers in the countryside.

The latest attacks have been a harsh blow for the Christian families who are already struggling financially.

Most of the families are from Jesus is the Way church, affiliated with Assemblies of God. They have endured many years of persecution for their refusal to participate in pagan rituals. This persecution has included being denied access to drinking water and electricity.

Despite continuing harassment, believers in Santa Rita remain firm in their faith, and people in the village are slowly being influenced by their example. Several traditionalist Catholics have commented, “How do they have so much strength to resist persecution? We want to be like them.”

Open Doors provides encouragement and support for believers who suffer for their faith in Chiapas. Please continue to pray for the church in Chiapas, and particularly for the believers in Santa Rita at this difficult time.

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