Prayer Diary Mexico

25 Mar 2018

“We have tried to explain the law to him [the community leader of Rancho Nuevo], but he says that he doesn’t respect any law.” This is what we heard from a representative of a group of ten Protestant families in Rancho Nuevo village. These families have been facing problems since 2016 for not participating in their village’s Roman Catholic festivals, the majority faith in the village. This is a story played out all too many times across Mexico, where religious minorities are often pressured to convert to the majority religion of their community.

  • Sunday 25 March

In 2017 Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses were violently expelled from the villages of Yaltzi and Tuxpan de Bolaños, and their homes were destroyed. In both cases, village leaders had openly made threats against the religious minorities but the government took no action. Thousands more have been forcibly displaced because of their religious beliefs, and because of government inaction have never been able to return home. Pray for God to provide for those who have lost everything.

  • Monday 26 March

Rancho Nuevo isn’t the only community trying to pressure its members of religious minorities to change their religion with threats and deprivation. Religious minorities in the states of Hidalgo, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla frequently endure similar violations, including having their water and electricity cut off: please pray that their appeals for justice would be answered.

  • Tuesday 27 March

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Catholic priest, with over 31 murders registered over 2006-2015. The majority of these murders are believed to be directly linked to the priests’ work as church leaders. Today, please pray for protection and strength for Catholic priests and other church leaders all over Mexico.

  • Wednesday 28 March

Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar is an incredibly courageous Catholic priest who has been documenting threats and violence against his fellow clergy for years. In 2017 he was honoured for his work: please pray that God would protect Father Omar as he continues his work.

  • Thursday 29 March

When violations of freedom of religion or belief occur, the situation is often exacerbated by the authorities being slow or failing to act at all, let alone deliver justice. Most of these cases are never resolved. Today, please pray that the government would take strong measures to defend freedom of religion or belief at every level.

  • Friday 30 March

Even when the government does take action, it often fails to protect those who have been displaced: this year, though victims of forced displacement were allowed to return to two communities they experienced pressure when they returned. Please pray that the government would protect people who have been displaced because of their beliefs.

  • Saturday 31 March 

Father God, today we lift the nation of Mexico to you and ask that you protect all those who are being targeted because of their beliefs, whether that’s church leaders carrying out their pastoral duties or religious minorities being pressured to changing their religion. Grant them courage, endurance and, ultimately, justice. Amen.

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