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Upon returning to their village,
some of the families
discovered that their homes
had been vandalized.
Photo: Open Doors International
via World Watch Monitor

Returning to their homeland has proven to be a bittersweet moment for a group of formerly exiled Christian families. Two months have already transpired since the 49 evangelical believers were permitted to resettle in their village of Buenavista Bauhuitz, Chiapas, Mexico. Prior to their return, they had undergone a five-year exile period which was imposed on them by the leaders and authorities of their village; a consequence they suffered for leaving the "traditionalist" church where a blend of indigenous paganism and popular Catholicism is practised. A video report providing more details of their forced expulsion can be viewed here.

For these enduring Christians, the journey home has come at a great cost as they are now trying to piece their lives back together again. The process began by assessing the damages done to their homes during the absence. Thankfully, they have since been able to reconnect to the community's supply of water, electricity and medical services, all of which had been denied right up to the leading moments of their eviction.

In addition, the adults of each family must pay a mandatory annual fee (580 pesos or $40 US per family) toward the village's traditional festivals. It was a condition upon their return, but one they consider a small sacrifice to make. They are all just happy to be home again.

Anthony Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, said that he hopes the families' return home will be the beginning of reconciliation in the community: "We rejoice with our brothers and sisters who have been granted the ability to return to their homes, but hope and pray that the restoration process will not end here. Livelihood and homes are in need of repair, with communal harmony and acceptance remaining tenuous due to religious differences."

Praise God for the safe return of these Mexican believers, asking that His protective hand remain upon them as they rebuild their homes as well as their lives. Please continue to lift up these persevering families and their fellow community members in prayer, earnestly pleading for Christ's love to indwell within each of their hearts so community relations between the villagers will greatly improve and eventually grow stronger. May the Lord also touch the hearts of the leaders and authorities within the village -- enlightening them to the truth and wisdom of the Scriptures -- so they can govern the people justly and in a manner that will result in blessing for the entire community.

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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