Photos from April 2014: March of Bible Heroes in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas; The children and teens of families persecuted for their faith and expelled from their communities had been invited to participate in a Childrens Day activity in the capital, and were prepared to express their thoughts and needs to government officials. Some of the kids are members of groups that VOMC taped in December of 2009, for the Mexican Voices video.
The Evangelical members of the communities of Chilil, Yashtinin and Buena Vista were present, marching in the Children’s Parade, with the idea of sharing something of their testimonies and afterwards to speak with someone from the governor’s office about their situation.
Many of them have lost their schooling for several years… while they have also had to learn to speak Spanish and to accomodate themselves to a new urban culture.
The government officials rejected abruptly the idea of receiving the children and youth, although they themselves are well known for their tendency for photo ops with kids in their publicity and campaigning: when it is convenient for them. One of the officials even commented that they could accuse the Evangelicals of manipulating the kids for their own agenda.
Where is the so called respect or concern for the Children’s Declaration of Rights when kids want to speak for themselves instead of waiting for politicians do it for them?
Many of the young participants are now youth, and have been training as Sunday School Teachers or for VBS teachers in VOM Mexico’s program CAP / ED this past year.
They have proven themselves to be very capable, and having learned to speak Spanish are able to express their own needs!
With this same voice and capacity they are able to share and teach the Word of God, sing to and praise the Lord, cry out about the injustices in their communities, and question the apathy of the government when it concerns the religious rights of Evangelical Indigenas.
This Friday the 31st of October, they will not be marching alone… they will be accompanied by their families, their churches, Pastors from the Chiapas Alliances, and their friends in Christ.
Remembering the Day of the Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his theses to the doors of the Roman Catholic Cathedral almost 500 years ago, Evangelicals in Chiapas will march peacefully and respectfully, to draw the attention of a government which has in general not shown them much consideration or respect. And where the majority church has received preference where it should not. And if the governor and his officials continue to ignore their cries, they will raise their voices on a national level, and through their brothers and sisters in Christ on the international level in Mexico City next week, through those who are their voices where they have not been heard before.
They know that Almighty God hears them, and that He has no favorities, is not concerned about winning their votes, nor receiving gifts. They know He is not deceived , that He can not be bought, but that He is just and looks on them with affection, humble as they are, and understands their petitions to just return to their homes, to live and share their faith as it is their right.
The groups are carrying 12 municipal banners representing regions where religious persecution is still prevalent. And the Buena Vista group has decided to stay and camp out in front of the Governor’s mansion until he can give them a return date, or show reasonable progress in a supervised return to their community. Their decision is based on increased agressions suffered in the past few weeks from their community authorities and the obvious interference and colusion of government officials with them.
Please keep all in your prayers: the persecuted, the government officials and the community authorities themselves.