One day after the Evangelicals marched on the capital of Chiapas, we are just beginning to hear and see what the effect was. Would you believe that in the early morning hours, at least 2 well known Evangelicals published favorable interviews lauding the state government for the advances it has made in the area of religious intolerance and actual persecution? Now, honestly, how does that look? You have to ask:
- Are these Evangelicals deceived by their own good relationships and what they have seen by government officials?
- Are these Evangelicals bought and paid for by the state government or self interested political figures?
- What would make or drive an Evangelical to be used this way when over 1000 people, principally Indigenas actually personally affected marched and expressed their pain in front of the government offices?
- Would they have the courage to present themselves and face those brothers in Christ that they have betrayed by denying them, as Christ was denied by Peter? How many times in the past have they denied their brethren?
- What type of government would prefer to lie and manipulate Evangelical leaders than actually do what needs to be done to resolve the active cases, and change the system so that religious tolerance could actually take place?
- What type of government advises its functionaries not to respond to a march of 1000 peaceful and humble people with real grievances of neglect, sabotaging their cases, and accusing them of protecting their own vested interests?
- What type of government tells people that there were only 300 marchers that were there, and doesn’t let their own Secretary of State or the Governor know what is happening?
- What type of governor allows his cabinet and functionaries to do what they wish without accountability?
- Where were the rest of the Body of Christ, while some of their leaders marched with the persecuted church?
- Where were the rest of the Pastors and leaders of the Evangelical community?
- Why in the capital of the state do people not know that there are 70 cases of religious persecution and over 1400 people affected, not all Indigenas, but also various mestizo (Mexican) congregations expelled or persecuted? (Yashtinin and Matamoros to name 2).
The group from Buena Vista, waiting more than 3 years for a resolution other than packing up and allowing themselves to be re-located, is planting itself in the park in front of the government offices. They have already had several services with preaching and worship there! Pastor Josue, leader of one of the largest denominations in the state, returned to spend the night, encouraging them throughout the night. Other groups are stopping by to visit them, some bringing blankets, sweaters, cooked food, and also to leave them with words of encouragment. Other affected groups are scheduling days or nights to spend with the Buena Vista group… because they are becoming one, as they are meant to be, despite language and cultural differences between one group and another.
- How is it that the state government has for so long and so badly underestimated the endurance and strength of the humble Evangelicals, even when their leadership betrays them?
- How is it that the state government preferred and decided to divide and conquer, by offering commissions, benefits, money, material possesions and political positions to Evangelicals , and thought they could always depend on following this same pattern of corruption and abuse?
- How is it that the government functionaries haven’t realized that their neglect of duty, favoritism, and corruption will someday come to an end, and they will be judged both here and later on by a judge who can not be deceived or bought and paid for?
- How is it that Evangelical leaders do not fear the Lord, who sees their actions, and knows their hearts?
- Repent… those of you who are truly part of the Body of Christ, while you can! And while it can make a difference! You are being lifted in prayer along with the persecutors…
People passing by are reading the banners, asking questions, and beginning to read the Bible with them. Several government officials have stopped by to convince them to pick up and go home, trusting the government to do it’s job. The persecuted no longer trust their government, nor it’s officials, with the exception of a few. The Religious affairs office, and the regional directors are pretty much discredited in their eyes, for their personal experience dealing with them for at least several years.
If the state government is not up to it’s job, then they are willing to take their testimonies to a national and international level. They now know in their hearts that their trust is in the Lord… not in any government official or agency. They are drawing closer together, being strenghthened as a body, growing in their faith.
Please continue to lift them in prayer… several will be testifying in Mexico City next week, in a national forum about religious persecution in Chiapas, and others on an international level. They continue to lift in prayer those who have persecuted them, the government that has failed them, and one another. I invite you to join them in prayer and lift your voice to share their concerns and needs as you prepare to celebrate IDOP in your church this year.