Consepción has been living without water, electricity and sewerage services for six years. She and other Protestant Christian families in the village of El Encanto, Mexico, have been denied these services because they refused to take part in activities associated with the majority religion.
You’ve been campaigning for them alongside us, and last year we finally saw a breakthrough! This is just the beginning, but without the momentum of prayer, advocacy and campaigning this would not have been possible.
An impossible choice
We met Consepción as part of the research for our ground-breaking ‘Let her be heard’ report. Launched in March 2022, this report told the stories of religious minority women from indigenous communities in Mexico. It was the first time that many of the women had been given the opportunity to share their stories – or, in fact, even been asked about their experiences.
Consepción was one of many women we interviewed whose water, electricity and sewerage services had been cut off: a violation of their human rights. She and her husband, Pastor Ranulfo, along with other Protestant Christian families in El Encanto, had refused to give in to pressure from the majority religion community in their village.
Faced with an impossible choice – your faith or your water supply – the families did not give in.
‘We are infinitely grateful’
In September last year, we learned that the municipal Public Prosecutor’s Office had received information regarding the ongoing human rights violations committed by the local authorities of El Encanto. The Office then reached out to a representative of the families, asking them to officially verify the information.
This recognition is a breakthrough in itself! It also gives hope for a proper investigation, that the local authorities will be held to account for their actions, and that the rights of the religious minority will be restored and protected.
And this all happened after hundreds of people like you wrote to the municipal authorities to demand action.
When we visited Pastor Ranulfo more recently, he told us that the municipal government – the authorities you’ve been writing to – have begun to deliver water to the religious minority families every fortnight. Although the community’s access to running water has not yet been restored, this temporary solution means they no longer have to make a journey multiple times a day to collect water.
Pastor Ranulfo shared his thanks for your prayers, support and campaigning. He told us, ‘We are infinitely grateful for everything you are doing, and to all the brothers and sisters in different places – and especially those in the UK who are supporting and praying and sending letters to...government authorities. Thank you very much; we really appreciate it.’
In December we learned that the community’s local assembly will hold a vote to decide whether to reinstate the families’ water, electricity and sewerage services. At the time of writing, we don’t know exactly when this vote will take place, but Pastor Ranulfo is expecting a meeting in the coming weeks.
Decisions in the community are made by a show of hands by community members; in this case, more than 150 people representing the families who live in El Encanto.
And that’s why we need you to pray that the community will vote to reinstate the Protestant families’ basic services. Changing the hearts and minds of the community is no small task, but we believe in a God who makes the impossible possible; the families of El Encanto need your prayers to do just that.