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Evangelical Huichol Christians are being forced to flee their homes in the village of Agua Fria, near Mezquitic in the Mexican state of Jalisco, after refusing to take part in some of the activities being labelled "traditional rites," including drinking liquor and using the hallucinogenic peyote. According to an August 31 report from Compass Direct, community leaders have told the evangelicals that they are free to return if they are willing to participate in the activities.

Mezquitic authorities consider the issue a land dispute. They maintain that the Huichol community rules require participation in the native rites in order to remain in the community. The first seventy refugees left on August 14, walking twenty hours across the state border into Tepic, Nayarit. They left with a single change of clothing and were forced to abandon land, crops, homes and personal possessions. The total number of refugees is expected to reach 300. They come from Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist and Apostolic churches.

According to reports in the La Jornada newspaper, the evangelicals fear that they will be burned alive, particularly in the context of an incident last February when the home of Hermelinda Vazquez de la Cruz was set on fire. She managed to escape, but is now confined to a walker because of the severe burns. The refugees are being temporarily housed in the Seventh Apostolic Church of Tepic.

Pray for safety for those living under threat. Pray for provisions for those forced to leave and pray that they will be allowed to return to their homes.

For more information on the difficulties facing Christians in areas of Mexico, click here.

Current Ministry Project

By supporting a field office in Mexico, VOMC is able to serve as a bridge between persecuted Christians residing within the country and fellow believers located in other parts of the world. The office in Mexico, which is prepared to respond to cases of persecution with spiritual support and humanitarian aid, also conducts training sessions for Mexican Christian leaders and teachers.

Project Fund: Relief and Development

Country Information

Population
130,207,371 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) (62), Predominantly Amerindian (21), Amerindian (7), other (10)

Religion (%)
Roman Catholic/Syncretism (78) Evangelical (11.2) unaffiliated (10.6)

Leader
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (2018)

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system with US constitutional law influence; judicial review of legislative acts

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Mexico

Pray that the Christians residing within these regions will exemplify the grace of God toward those who oppose them. May these believers be further strengthened and encouraged to continue faithfully sharing the Gospel and demonstrating the love of Jesus. Ask the Lord to abundantly bless and multiply their efforts, resulting in a great harvest of lasting spiritual fruit in the lives of those within their communities and beyond – impacting the nation of Mexico as a whole.

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