Protestants facing increased persecution in Mexico
(TRUNEWS) Protestants are facing increased persecution in Mexico.
Lauro Perez Nunez was banished from his community for failing to belong to the “traditionalist” church, which is a combination of paganism and Catholicism.
A district judge ruled in March that he could go back home, but he was not welcomed there. He received death threats and his cousin was beaten by gangs of people who rallied outside the house.
The Mexican Constitution allows for indigenous communities to rule themselves unless it affects human rights.
Nunez brought the case before the National Council of Religious Tolerance, which was put together in January to fight for religious freedom in Mexico, according to World Watch Monitor.
In the village where Nunez lives, La Chachalaca, in the district of Santiago Camotlan, Oaxaca, he was part of the protestant minority. He was imprisoned for violating the faith of the community.
“In the beginning, there were about 16 families in the village that practised [Evangelical Christianity],” Núñez said. “But the accusations that we were against the beliefs of the majority, that we were attempting to go against the community, made many stop expressing their ideas.”
Before his release from prison, Nunez was told to denounce his faith, but he refused.
Mexico is about 82 percent Catholic. Evangelicals and Pentecostals account for about 6 percent of the population.
The situation Nunez faced was not unique. Earlier this year 50 evangelicals returned to Buenavista Bahuitz in Chiapas after being in exile five years for not being a part of the “traditionalist church”.
They were allowed back in only after promising to pay a fee, according to Christianity Today.
“It is time that the Mexican government provides justice and protection for victims of religious persecution while dealing with local and state officials that are part of the problem,” said Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern (ICC), in a statement. “A slow wave of religious persecution has been sweeping across Mexico and the culture of corruption and lack of accountability that surrounds religious freedom cases needs to end.”
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