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The Voice of the Martyrs was pleased to learn of the release of at least 20 men falsely accused of participating in a massacre in Chiapas state, Mexico in December 1997. The release of the men, most of them evangelical Christians, came after Mexico's Supreme Court ruled in a 4-1 decision on August 12 that they had been convicted in unfair trials in which prosecutors fabricated testimony and illegally obtained evidence. As Compass Direct noted in their August 13 report, "area evangelicals view the imprisoned Christians as caught between survivors clamoring for convictions and government police and military forces eager to shift blame away from their minions following the Dec. 22, 1997 killing of 45 civilians in Acteal village."

"Acteal is a double tragedy," attorney Javier Cruz Angulo reportedly said after the ruling. "On the one hand you have an abominable massacre, and on the other more than 50 human beings imprisoned without proofs." The Supreme Court justices stated clearly that they were not ruling on the guilt or innocence of the men, only on the violation of due process. According to Compass Direct, the court will review the cases of another 31 men convicted in connection with the killings, and six more will be given new trials. For more information on this very difficult case of injustice, see the December 21, 2007 report from Compass Direct.

Thank God for the release of these men after so long. Pray that the remaining prisoners will soon come to trial and be released as well. Pray for safety for those who have been released. There have been threats of violence in their home communities near San Cristobal de las Casas and some reportedly have no home to go back to.

For more information on the difficulties that Christians face in regions of Mexico, click here.

Country Information

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)

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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Mexico News

  • Christians Jailed by Village Mayor
    Two men sitting under a tree
    Pray that people in these regions will hear and respond to the true Gospel.

    Three Christians in San Pedro Chimaltepec, a Mexican town located in eastern Oaxaca state, were jailed by the local mayor after refusing to contribute monetarily to an annual religious festival. Many residents of Oaxaca stat

  • Christians Expelled and Homes Destroyed
    Believers who were previously displaced.
    Believers in Chiapas routinely face opposition for their faithfulness to Christ.

    Evangelical Christians in the San Cristóbal municipality of Chiapas State have faced opposition from other villagers for several years. In May 2016, 84 homes in the area were looted and partially destroyed, forcibly dis

  • Pastor Shot and Killed
    Pastor Canseco and his family - Photo: Facebook / AlfLic Cruz
    Pastor Alfrery and his family.
    Photo: Facebook / AlfLic Cruz

    Pastor Alfrery Líctor Cruz Canseco was waiting in his car following a church service on August 18th when he was shot without warning at point-blank range. The attacker attempted to escape, but members of the congregation were able to captu