Voice of the Martyrs in Mexico opens new Training & Distribution Center

1VDLM / VOM in Mexico has moved it’s Sinaloa support office to a new building in the same neighborhood, but with better accomodations, security, and more economical. We are looking forward to the development of our northern Mexico team, serving the northern and central states of Mexico as a bridge between those who are actually experiencing religious persecution in the flesh in Mexico and the Body of Christ who should be sensitive and respond to their needs both in prayer and physically, … opening up opportunities to serve the persecuted body of Christ on both a national and international level.

Our team consists of Janeth, Adrianna, and Jorge being trained and mentored by Founder and General Ministry Director Linda Picard, and subject to the Administration and Board members in the Chiapas ASAP Base, which supplies both immediate and secondary attention to the persecuted Body of Christ in Mexico.

DSCF5354The office is equipped to receive volunteer groups and small groups for training sessions, distribute literature and materials for VOM sponsored and related activities, and to present VOM activities for Children, Youth, Women, Leadership, and general conferences relating to Biblical & persecution themes. Tuesday we will receive formally our first volunteer group in the new office, Women in the Breach / Hearts of Fire from the ICCVU (Villa Union Congregational Women’s group) with a brief introduction to our program and goals, and then proceed to the work at hand in fabricating crafts and materials for conferences and activities around the republic.

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Work is also progressing in the preparation of several VOM themes as monthly magazines, Jorge’s work to reach out to pastors and leaders, keeping them informed,  and involving their churches, alliances or ministry groups in the work.

VOM Mexico has in the past 2 years becomes the principal source of information about religious persecution in Mexico, specifically based on its field work and the relationships of trust formed through it’s immediate attention to threated groups and families, it’s programs of support and follow up, and the coordination of aid through the work of Luis Herrera.

Please feel free to contact us directly to learn more about religious persecution in Mexico itself or to learn more about supporting this ministry and it’s outreach and projects. Persecution in Mexico is rarely reported and is often least understood for its complexity… sadly because most presume that Mexico being “Christian” precludes the presence of such barbarities as massive expulsions of Evangelical Indigenas and non Indigenas, preaching the Gospel, group prayer, building churches, children denied their rights to an an education, government aid being denied, or fees and participation required of Protestant Christians for Roman Catholic and Tribal Traditionalist fiestas and celebrations.

We, working here in Mexico have a better understanding of the complications and problems faced, and the fact that the government and human rights organizations are not interested in responding.

Prayer Points:

  • Accomodation of Sinaloa C / D Center & the training of its staff
  • Preparation and Printing of VOM Monthly Magazines
  • Development of VOM ministerial and leadership relationships in the northern and central parts of Mexico
  • Development of sensitivity and interest in those who are actually persecuted for their faith in the regions attended by our new VOM Center.
  • Development of a deeper consciousness of the actual situation in Mexico, and an attitude of mutual respect between Catholics and Evangelicals.
  • DSCF5351Jorge, Director; Janeth, Office Manager; Salome, Maintenance; Adrianna, Crafts

 

 

 

Mexico: Displaced protestants refused re-entry to village amid ongoing religious freedom violations in Chiapas

A group of 47 displaced Protestants from Chiapas State, Mexico, were refused re-entry to their village despite state government promises that village leaders had agreed to uphold religious freedom.

The Protestants, who were forcibly expelled from Buenavista Bahuitz village in Chiapas State in 2012, were initially told that they could only return to their homes if they converted to Roman Catholicism and participated in Roman Catholic religious activities. According to Luis Herrera, director of the Coordination of Christian Organizations of Chiapas (COOC), the group later received assurances from the state government that they had negotiated the return of the displaced group and that their religious freedom would be protected.

The government promise of action came after a month-long peaceful sit-in in front of the state government palace in Tuxtla Gutierrez by the Buenavista Bahuitz group and other communities of forcibly displaced Protestants. The sit-in ended on 1 December after the state government made verbal commitments to address their situation.

The group set out for Buenavista Bahuitz in the early hours of 20 January by bus, accompanied by some state government officials. Upon arrival at the village, they were met by village leaders who demanded that the Protestants convert to Catholicism before they would be permitted to stay. Herrara noted that the government officials present appeared to be taken by surprise by the village leaders’ stance and questioned their preparations. Negotiations were held on the spot and the village leaders eventually agreed to allow the Protestants to stay if they paid a fine which Herrera described as “extremely high.” The group declined and returned to the grounds of a church in the city of Comitán de Domínguez Tuxtla Gutirerrez where they have lived in rudimentary housing for the past two and a half years. where they have been sheltered by the Jesus es el Camino church, pastored by Josue Perez Pardo.

The events of 20 January follow a series of serious religious freedom violations and forced displacements in Chiapas this month. In early January in the municipality of San Juan Chamula, tensions erupted after Protestants in the village of Las Ollas declined to participate in festivals celebrating the Roman Catholic patron saint of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadelupe. According to the  Organización de Pueblos Evangélicos de los Altos de Chiapas (OPEACH), the villagers had been compelled to pay financial contributions to Catholic festivals in the village over the past year, but had decided they would no longer do so in December 2014. They were subsequently attacked, beaten, and had their water and electricity cut on 8 January 2015. OPEACH stated that the village leaders have also threatened to bar the Protestant children from attending school and to block Protestant families from receiving state benefits allocated to the community.

On 14 January, a group of ten Protestants were forcibly displaced from the community of La Florecilla in San Cristóbal de las Casas municipality after having their water and electricity supplies interrupted, and after being physically attacked, arbitrarily imprisoned and given a deadline by village authorities to renounce their faith or be forced to leave. Local religious leaders in San Cristóbal de las Casas, who have offered refuge to the families, informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that the problem had been going on since 2011 and that numerous complaints to the municipal and state governments had been made but no action had been taken to protect the rights of the group or to uphold the rule of law.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “We are extremely disappointed that the government of Chiapas did not follow through on its promises to assure the safe return of the Buenavista Bahuitz community and to uphold their religious freedom. The events of 20 January, which have occurred amidst serious violations of religious freedom and the forced displacement of religious minorities in other parts of the state, call into question the state government’s purported commitment to defending religious freedom and addressing these and the approximately 30 other cases of religious freedom violations in the state of Chiapas. We continue to call on the state government to meet its obligations under Mexican and international law and urge the federal government to intervene if the state government is unable or unwilling to fulfill it

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.

VOM Australia / Nigeria: A Young Child’s Terrible Encounter with Boko Haram

VOM Australia / Nigeria Prayer Alert 11 Dec 2014

NIGERIA: A Young Child’s Terrible Encounter with Boko Haram

vomc NigeriaAfter a brutal attack on Christian worshippers on Sunday 22 November in Attagara, Hassan was running back home holding his ‘Children’s Bible’ when three Islamic insurgents grabbed him and sat him down.

According to an eye witness, one of the insurgents wanted to take the Children’s Bible from Hassan’s hand but the little boy refused. The Muslim insurgent snatched the Bible by force and threw it into a nearby burning fire. Hassan ran to where the fire was to rescue his Bible.

While he was struggling with a stick to remove his Bible from the fire, an insurgent hit three-year-old Hassan on the head with the butt of an AK47 and pushed the little child into the fire. Not satisfied, he proceed to step on Hassan’s head and pressed the head of the child into the fire, all the while railing curses and abuses on the boy and calling him ‘stubborn infidel.’

nigeria boyThe heartless Muslim left Hassan and walked away.

Hassan survived the attack but was badly burned (scroll down to view image of Hassan).

Source: Voice of the Christian Martyrs Nigeria

Prayer Points

  • On behalf of Hassan and others like him who have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram, cry out to the Lord to bring justice to an unjust world; ask Him to protect and preserve His people (Psalm 140).
  • Pray the Lord will bless this young child with a strong faith, endurance and an unquenchable desire to love and serve the Lord all his life.
  • Pray the Lord will completely heal this young child, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Related Content

NIGERIA: Mission to Chibok
NIGERIA: 48 Students Dead as Bomb Explodes during Assembly

NIGERIA: Christian villages attacked

VOMC Special Prayer Alert: India… Madhya Pradesh province

The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada)

 vomc indiaEight Christians in India have been imprisoned following a brutal attack in which a pastor and seven members of his congregation were stripped naked, whipped with belts, and punched before being arrested by local police.

On November 4th, Reverend Rana had just begun a meeting with members of Bethel Pentecostal Church in Madhya Pradesh province to prepare for a prayer service when a mob of local Hindu radicals, known as the Bajrang Dal, stormed abruptly into the meeting. Following the mob’s brutal attack, police arrived on the scene and surprisingly arrested the eight victimized Christians.

It is reported that the arrested believers have been imprisoned under India’s anti-conversion laws. These laws mandate that anyone wanting to convert from Hinduism (or trying to convert a Hindu) must seek permission from the government, providing a 30-day advance notice.

Please pray for these suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to encourage and strengthen Reverend Rana and his faithful congregants, reminding them that it is a privilege to face such opposition since Jesus Himself was also persecuted (John 15:20).

Prayer Alert: VIETNAM: Bible College Attacked for Seventh Time

VIETNAM: Bible College Attacked for Seventh Time

Sources: VOM Canada Ministry Partners, VOM Australia

Mennonite Bible College after the attack.

On November 2nd, Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang was leading his Bible college church in southern Vietnam when nearly 300 perpetrators began throwing stones and other objects at the church. This most recent attack damaged areas of the building that had just been repaired after previous similar incidences of violence.

“We had to cover the front of the church with timber to protect us from rubber bullets, rocks and rotten eggs,” says Pastor Nguyen, following this recent attack on the Mennonite Bible School in Binh Duong province. Still in shock from the mayhem caused by the perpetrators, some of the church members were also followed home and physically assaulted.

In June of this year, police, government officials and hired thugs broke down the gate of the college and began ransacking the buildings. Both male and female students, as well as their pastoral instructors, were rounded up and beaten. (For more information on the incident, click here.There is also a video clip online, featuring an interview with Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang that took place a few years ago.)

Since the initial June attack, those affiliated with the college have suffered from repeated arrests and other difficulties resulting from the main water and electricity supplies having been cut off. In addition, Pastor Nguyen often receives calls from strangers threatening to bomb the school if it’s not removed from the area. (For more information on the difficulties facing Pastor Nguyen and other believers in Vietnam, go to our online country report.)

Ask the Lord to give Pastor Nguyen and the students of this Bible college the ability to unconditionally love their enemies as our Lord has instructed (Matthew 5:44). Despite the repeated violence and senseless damage of their facility’s buildings and property, may these men and women be greatly encouraged over the fact that no one can ever rob them of their love for Jesus and the lasting spiritual investments they are making through the study of God’s infallible Word. For in the process, they are laying up treasures in heaven, rather than here on this earth where material things corrode and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:20). Also pray that God’s divine protection and supernatural power will enable His people in Vietnam to persevere and overcome the enemy’s strategies so that the light of the Gospel will banish the realm of darkness over this Communist nation.


VOMC Prayer Alert: Pray for God’s perfect peace to calm the distraught hearts of the kidnapped girls and their families

nigerian mothersIt has recently been reported that the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok (in Borno state) has been seized by Boko Haram militants. Since the group’s abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April of 2014, this mainly Christian town has been frequently mentioned in international news headlines. Boko Haram has also repeatedly targeted the villages surrounding Chibok in recent months in its fight to create an Islamic state within Nigeria.

Borno state senator Ali Ndume reported that security forces posted in Chibok ran from the area during the attack as they were greatly outnumbered by the insurgents. A vigilante who was present at the time, in his effort to assist with the defense of the town, now serves as an eye witness of the scene. “You couldn’t count (the militants) because there were so many,” he testifies. “All the security and the soldiers ran away and left us on our own. They didn’t shoot at them, they just ran. All the ammunition we had was finished, so there was no way we could attempt to hold the area.”

Since the kidnapping of the schoolgirls, much concern has been raised over the fact that the area is not well protected. As a result, thousands of Chibok residents have fled their hometown community, hoping to find safety in other parts of the country.

Let us pray for God’s perfect peace to calm the distraught hearts of the kidnapped girls and their families, as well as those of their once close-knit Chibok community (Philippians 4:7).

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

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