November 2014: IDOP Around Mexico

This year we made a greater effort from our social network sites to promote IDOP: the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We had saw a reach extended to various nations in Latina America from Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and around Mexico, including in the states of Tabasco, Campeche, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Sonora to name a few. We are finding more and more Latinos are interested in Extreme Missions and the persecution in restricted or hostile areas. Many are paying close attention to reports about atrocities perpetrated against our Christian brethren, and the constant attacks against Christians in Nigeria, Pakistan, Siria and Irak in particular… and they want to know if what they are hearing is true or exaggerated… and how to respond. DSCF5324                            Villa Union Sinaloa… DSCF5346                            Mazatlan, Sinaloa DSCF4827                         Temas de IDOP 2014: Ten Misericordia sobre ellos Señor.

Enfoque en Siria; Las Jovencitas raptadas de Chibok, Nigeria; Irak; las familias de los jovenes deChibok; los niños y familias refugiados de Siria y Irak; Los encarcelados como Asia Bibi y Pastor Saeed; los que se sientan abandonados; Petra y los demas de Los LLanos en Chiapas; y los que no puedan adorar a Dios en iglesias, … por donde sean. DSC_0236Chiapas Mexico con Director Luis Herrera, Coordinadora Niños Valientes Lolita Hernandez y niños voluntarios. DSC_0168Eduardo Lopez de Buena Vista Grupo compartiendo en Iglesia Nazarena de Tuxtla Gutierrez. idop 3Equipo Voz de los Martires y afectados comparten sus propios testimonios en Tuxtla. idop 10 Prayer Points:

  • Concern and discernment on part of Latin American churches for their brethren who suffer for the sause of Christ.
  • Prayer and physical support for those brethren through organizations like VOM and missions.
  • For strenghth and grace of Spirit for those who personally experiment persecution for sharing and exercising their faith, to maintain their confidence and hope no matter what the cost, and in so doing win those to Christ who would persecute them.

Voice of the Martyrs Mexico IDOP #1: Iglesia Nazarena in Tuxtla Gutierrez

IDOP #1:

Iglesia Nazarena Tuxtla Gutierrez

idop 4Eduardo Lopez, leader of Tojolobal group expelled from  their own community of Buena Vista Bauhuitz in las Margaritas more than 2 years ago, shares their testimony in the first IDOP of the month.  Among Eduardo’s group there are some 40 people, with the birth 2 weeks ago of a baby after the Evangelical march in the capital. They remain faithful and firmly committed to their God and trusting in Him for their needs, despite having been threatened, having their possessions taken away, and finally being expelled from their lands. They have been sheltered in the buildings of their mother church in Comitan, where a number of them have found work to sustain their families, and where they have begun evangelizing others… for example through organized hospital visitation.

idop 3 On the 31st of this past October over 1000 Evangelicals marched in support of the persecuted Body of Christ in Chiapas, and when the government refused to attend to their situations, various groups stayed and set up camp in front of the Governor’s office in the park. There are now some 150 there, receiving support and encouragement from the regional Body of Christ…  drawn to the park to meet and fellowship with them.

idop 5The tiny Julia of Chilil, with Martha translating for her… both expelled from their community. Julia is a great woman of Christ with a heart on fire for sharing the Gospel and living her faith. No renuncio a mi Cristo / I will not renounce my Jesus, she said. when she was beaten, threatened with loosing all they had worked for, and finally was expelled with her family, a group of 30 in November 2009.

idop 10Maria Dolores Hernandez Bonifaz, Coordinator of the Kids of Courage program of VOM Mexico  organized and presented the first IDOP of 2014 with the special attendance of the Body of Christ persecuted in Chiapas Mexico. They represent the groups from Buena Vista Bauhuitz, Chilil, Mariano Matamoros, and Union Juarez. They are from both different regions and ethic groups, two of which are non Indigena Meztizo Mexicans.

Maria Dolores, better known for her Mexican diminuitive of Lolita, was assisted by her two adolescent sons… Isaac and Benji presenting VOM as a ministry in Mexico.

Lolita said afterwards:

“Praise the Lord, it was a great blessing for us having the opportunity to present Voice of the Martyrs as a ministry, especially accompanied by several of our brethren who are actually part of the persecuted Body of Christ here in Chiapas. Their opportunity to share their testimonies makes the IDOP more personal, knowing their brethren are camped out here in the capital, in front of the Governor’s office. They have shared their gratitude with God, knowing that He will respond to their petitions.  Their faith is unbreakable and tested, an example of their love and committment to their Lord and His for them. They understand that their time here is temporary, and pray that the Lord give them understanding, wisdom and patience  during this time… while hoping that the authorities will respond according to the laws that are established by the Mexican Constitution to guarantee their freedom to practice their religion.

The Nazarene Church expressed both its appreciation to VOM for its work, and its concern for the persecuted brethren who are so close… but until now, unknown to them.

We lift in prayer:

  • the groups who are camped out in the capital, waiting on those government officials who are appointed to attend them
  • the authorities in their communities who have rejected them for their Evangelical faith
  • and the petitions for other nations around the world where religious persecution exists.

 

Irak: VOM USA / Canada… IDOP around the world, including Mexico

 

prayer 1

IRAQ: Pray for the Church Amid Great Uncertainty

Source: VOM USA

Some of the tents of the displaced families
who fled the violence of IS fighters.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Our sister mission in the United States recently received urgent prayer requests from a church in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, with whom they are partnering to bring needed assistance to believers affected by the widespread violence in the area.

The Islamic militant group called “Islamic State” (formerly known as ISIS) has been seizing territory throughout Iraq in its attempt to set up an Islamic caliphate. In the cities and towns they conquer, the remaining Christians are given a stark ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a tax to remain in the area, abandon their homes permanently, or be killed. The vast majority of these Christ-followers have fled for Kurdish-controlled areas, but even there they are far from safe due to the overcrowded living conditions, lack of adequate resources, and risk of life-threatening illness.

Please pray that churches in the Kurdistan region will be equipped to meet the tremendous spiritual and physical needs of those fleeing to this area.

Pray, too, for a greater unity among the various congregations there. Additionally, ask that the Holy Spirit will move throughout this crisis — impacting the region, country and the entire Middle East to achieve God’s greater purposes.

Lift up in prayer the militants perpetrating these horrific crimes, asking that there be confusion and disagreement within their ranks so that all plans of evil and violence may cease.

Pray also that the militant group’s financial resources will be effectively cut off. Finally, ask God to grant wisdom to the government officials of the Kurdistan region as they work diligently to govern amid this crisis and defend the region.


This Sunday, November 9th, Christians across Canada and Mexico will be joining many thousands around the world for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We encourage you to join us in interceding for believers in countries like Iraq, India, Nigeria, and any others that are on your heart. For free downloadable resources that you can use either individually, with your family, or with your church congregation, please visit www.idop.ca.

“…Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace
in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that,
but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
~ Romans 1:2-5 (ESV)

Prayer Alert: Persecuted Evangelical Groups Marching in Chiapas October 31st

DSC_0040Photos 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.

DSC_0052 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.

DSC_0065 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?

DSC_0082 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!

DSC_0084 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.

 

IDOP / DOMIP Kids of Courage Mexico: Stand Firm in the Faith / Firmes en la Fe

Featuring our little brethren and their families…persecuted in Mexico since 2007 to date… From the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Hidalgo, standing firm in the faith, even as little ones, precious to their Lord Jesus, trusting in Him.

Blast from the Past / 2008 -2010: Hello world! From inside Mexico to you…

Chenalho (19)

A very warm welcome to all of our English speaking friends and supporters, and those who are simply looking for more information or a balance in what they’ve seen or heard from others. We are a major source of information about religious persecution in Mexico both nationally and on the international scene.

This year we have had almost 200 Indigena believers displaced from their homes just in Chiapas; they are  left dependent upon the government, a few ministries or churches to lend them some minor support while they wait for some response from their local tribal, state, and the Federal governments.

In the community of Agua Azul, Presbyterian believers were attacked by 2 separate waves of Zapatistas in February, leaving one dead, 24 wounded, one paralyzed, another lost the use of his arm from the machete attack, and others are so traumatized that they fear leaving their homes.

ataque (2)

Mitziton has been besieged by the Zapatista political support group La Otra Campaña all year, with highway blockades, several attacks, and a propaganda machine set up against them that attempts to discredit the Evangelical leaders and  believers,  in networks that publish their Pro Zapatista posts around the world.

2 Evangelicals from San Gregorio are imprisoned, accused of attempted murder and another 4  in hiding, resulting from a delegation of 200 neighbors in mass, and armed with machetes cutting the water and lights of 4 Evangelical families who refused to pay the fees for the Catholic /  Traditionalist religious festivals.

Another 31 Evangelicals were run out of their community of  Los Llanos, after neighbors tore down their houses, and 45 were expelled from a community in Chilon, when they refused to back the local alliance of political parties in their aggressive effort to expel 171 Zapatistas from the area.

Los Llanos

We are A Voice for those who don-t have one… and hope you will come often to this site for information… to guide you in prayer for the suffering church, to be better informed, and to participate in one project or another, collaborating either with us directly, or with one of the other national Voice of the Martyrs offices around the world. So far, most people have no real idea of what is happening in Mexico, or the situation of most Evangelicals in Latin America who live as second or even third class citizens… for not being members of the majority church.

Thank you, on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith in Mexico and around Latin America, for your concern, interest, and Christian love for others.