Religious Persecution has been documented and publicized in Chiapas and Oaxaca (Southwestern states) principally, but also on a regular basis by previous Open Door Directors before 2009 when the news flow stopped, in the states of Hidalgo, the state of Mexico and Guerrero (central states), Michoacán and Jalisco (northern Pacific coast states), typically where there are large Indigena populations. Then there were the every now and then reports from the state of Puebla. That includes 8 states reported on at least from 2001 when I began looking for information, and the addition of Nayarit, where the Huichol Indigena groups were relocated by force by the federal government after they were expelled from their ancestral communities in Jalisco.
The DVD Mexican Voices documented in 2009 by VOMC, documented in person some of the known persecution in Oaxaca and in Hidalgo. One of the reasons for lack of coverage in some of the states including Oaxaca is that denouncing or mentioning persecution depends on the denomination.
If there are also foreign missions working in the field, the Denominational Cover will exercise more caution in reporting persecution so as not to put at risk their ministry permissions and foreign staff. Many foreign sponsored missions will not report, or even mention that there are problems of persecution so as not to antagonize the federal or state governments.
It has always been accepted that there is persecution in various Mexican states, and the fact that some organizations only mention the state of Chiapas has been a problem and a cause of confusion when we have visited or addressed the situation in the other states facing the same problem, particularly Hidalgo which has a strong journalist activist.
It is time to formally recognize that religious persecution exists around the Mexican Republic to such an extent that it can’t be identified by just selecting a state or various states. It’s time to recognize the obvious that Mexico as a country has a problem with religious persecution from the southern border to the northern border.
We would like to recognize our brethren who silently and faithfully have been willing to pay a price in order not only to live their faith, but also to share it with others in hostile environments, and at the cost of loosing everything, upto and including their lives. Their testimonies are an example to those of us who are privileged to work with them, and should be a source of guidance and inspiration to those who live in other types of hostile environments where pressure is exerted to conform oneself to control by criminal or insurgent groups… paying extorsion or even kidnap ransoms.
Phillipians 1:21: Thinking about it…for the sake of the Gospel,
Because for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.