“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
There are just a few media outlet that are covering the brutal persecution of Christians in Mexico. Earlier this month, approximately 70 Evangelical Christians in the village of in the village of San Rafael Tlanalapan, Puebla were expelled from their homes by local authorities after traditionalist Catholics told them that if they remained in their homes past September 12th they would be “crucified or lynched.”
According to the reports:
Witnesses earlier said they saw several evangelicals, including a pastor, arriving with suitcases to quickly pick up their belongings. Traditional Catholics told them they would be “crucified or lynched” if they dared to stay after the September 12 ultimatum, locals and reporters said.
The mayor did not stop the expulsions amid fears he could be expelled himself by Catholics, Mexican media reported.
Catholic Irma Diaz Perez told local television he was pleased as “They will never return, because we have drawn up a document wherein they have no permission to come back now or ever.”
The Traditionalist Catholics practice a blend of indigenous pagan and Catholic rituals. Evangelical Christians in the village have in the past refused to participate in many of the customs which include drunken revelry and worshiping of dead Catholic saints, which is forbidden by the Bible (as the Bible teaches, Christians are only to worship God and not people). In 2006, the water supply to Evangelical Christian homes was cut off and tensions have risen since then. There have been attacks, Christians are permitted no place of worship. The persecution reached its peak when a parishioner suggested in a Catholic sermon that the Evangelical Christians be driven out of their town for good. Antonio Garcia Ovalle, the village’s assistant President, met with the Evangelicals and secured the agreement to leave as the threats of attacks and beatings were increasing.
The evangelicals were following God’s Word by not compromising Biblical Christianity for the traditionalist mix of paganism and Catholicism. The Bible states:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? – 2 Corinthians 6
The point the Apostle Paul was making in the context of this passage was not referring to socializing with non-believers. Christians are instructed to interact with all people of all backgrounds. The passage was referring to not being yoked in important endeavors, like spiritual worship such as the case with the Evangelical Christians in Puebla and the Catholic/pagan rituals. There is no place for idol worship in Biblical Christianity. Even under threats of violence and intimidation. The Evangelicals were right to reject this and should be forced to submit to a different faith.
For many of us, it is impossible to even fathom being forced to leave your home and town behind on a week’s notice to never return. Much less because of our faith. And yet, many churches in America are happily compromising Biblical faith by mixing it with other spiritual practices with no pressure on them at all. What would happen to these same churches the day they are forced to abandon the faith under threat of death?
Pray for the people of Puebla that they will be safe and find a future in whatever areas they move to. And that they remember that Jesus Christ, The Lord, is with them to comfort them through all of these trials. Additionally pray for the their oppressors that they will repent to God for their clear sins and reconcile with the people whom they have wrongfully forced from their homes.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “It is imperative that the Mexican government take concrete steps to protect the fundamental rights of these families in Puebla as a matter of urgency. We take the threats to their lives very seriously and are deeply concerned for those who have had their drinking water cut off, putting the health of children at risk. While we agree that the Mexican government should remain neutral in religious matters, this does not mean that it can stand by while the most basic rights of its people are violated. The Mexican government must uphold religious freedom for all”
God sees the suffering of His Saints and has already let us know through the Bible that this is what is going to be expected in the age that we are living in. The movement against Biblical Christianity is underway as we get closer to the end times. But as believers, our victory in this battle is already won. Jesus Christ achieved that on the cross 2,000 years ago. Jesus endured persecution, attacks, wrongful accusations and trials, murder and the wrath of God, just to save humanity from our sins. The eternal life we who believe in Him have received is the reward He won for us. The persecution that Christians endure in this world is just our way to identify with our Savior who suffered in the same way because He loved us so much.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. — Romans 8