The Roman Catholic institution, today, makes use of the ecumenical and the interfaith movements to get her way, far more than she does of open and bloody persecution. Yes, she still causes wars and revolutions, which result in the deaths of tens of thousands, even millions; the massacre in Rwanda and the massacres of Serbians by Roman Catholic Croatians are two recent examples. But when it comes to dealing with Protestants, she usually prefers to subtly undermine and to infiltrate today. She prefers the honeypot approach to the rack and the sword. For this is, after all, the 21st century, and Rome is supposed to have changed. The Great Whore now wears a smile on her blood-stained face, and lovingly refers to Protestants – most of the time at any rate – as “separated brethren”. She clucks soothingly like a mother hen, calling her chickens to gather under her wing, and gullible, foolish “Protestants” all over the world are falling over themselves in their rush to do just that. She joins hands with Protestants, speaks of “love” and “unity in Christ” and “healing the divisions of the past”, of being “one in the Spirit” and “part of the same family”. The days of the Roman Catholic Crusades, the Papal Inquisition, and other Roman Catholic horrors of the past seem so far off now…don’t they?
But the truth is, whenever and wherever she thinks she can get away with it, she still, today, resorts to those time-tested and sorely-missed methods she so enthusiastically made use of in past centuries. For she remains the same old Harlot she ever was, and ever will be: the blood of Protestants still dribbles from the corners of her mouth, even though that mouth is now smiling and speaking flattering and soothing words to them.
In Central and South America, where Roman Catholicism is immensely strong, persecution of Protestants has been going on for decades, particularly in Mexico.
In fanatically Roman Catholic Mexico, Protestants are being violently persecuted by Roman Catholics. In the Mexican state of Chiapas, these Roman Catholics are known as “traditionalists”, because they blend their Romanism with ancient pagan Mayan beliefs. But this is something Papists have always done, and continue to do, all over the world. Rome calls it “inculturation”, and it is actively encouraged.
Town bosses, known as caciques, seek to keep evangelical Protestants out of their villages. Bibles are confiscated and burnt, Church buildings are destroyed, some Protestants have been jailed and others expelled from villages, either for evangelising or for refusing to participate in pagan festivals, and others have been killed.
In January 2006 two Protestant men in Mexico were arrested simply because they refused to pay a 350-peso fee to provide liquor and other things for the Esquipulas religious festival. One of them said, “I really didn’t think we would have to participate in this festival, because it was for a Catholic patron saint and we aren’t Catholics.” But the town bosses, the caciques, didn’t see it that way. They locked the two men up in such a small jail that they were unable to even lie down, and denied them food or water for almost three days. After being released, they, their parents and siblings were forced to leave their village, and their land was confiscated.
In September 2006, two Protestant pastors were murdered in Chiapas State. One of them was stopped in his car on his way to a service and shot by heavily armed men as he tried to escape.
In 2007 at least 20 incidents of persecution of Protestants by Roman Catholics were registered with the Mexican government. One 20-year-old Protestant man, newly married, went to a village called Jomalho, accompanied by his cousin and brother, to see his uncle. The villagers, traditionalist Roman Catholics, attacked the three men. The angry crowd captured the young man, beating and kicking him. His brother and cousin escaped into the woods. They tied a rope around the man’s neck and forced him to dig his own grave. According to witnesses, they then smashed his teeth and gouged out both his eyes. Then they strangled him to death, threw his body into the grave he had dug and smashed his skull with rocks. After filling in the grave, they returned to their homes and businesses as if nothing had happened.
Only one of the 30 attackers was sentenced to prison by the Chiapas state investigators.
Near San Cristobal de Las Casas, two church buildings were destroyed by traditionalist Roman Catholics in 2007. In the first incident, in April, as the church building in the town of Las Ollas was being demolished, the attackers threatened to burn the people inside. The second destruction occurred in July, in the town of Nishnamtic, and for a change the Chiapas state police acted swiftly, arresting 14 Roman Catholics. But in retaliation, in order to secure the release of the Papists, the caciques ordered the arrest of seven Protestant women and two of their children. One was a baby of 9 months old. The state police returned with a helicopter and dozens of vehicles to rescue the Protestants from jail, and four days later both sides reached what was called an agreement of “harmonious co-existence.” The Papists agreed that they would rebuild the church’s building, and allow the Protestants to worship freely. But even the local newspaper, Expreso, stated that the “peace treaty” for the town was “worth as much as a tiny peanut.”
These were some of the more recent episodes; but violent persecution of Protestants in Mexico has been going on for decades now. In just one district alone, San Juan Chamula, it is believed that in the past 40 years over 50 000 people have been expelled from their homes due to religious and political conflicts. And what is vital to understand is that this modern-day persecution of Protestants in Mexico, and also in other Latin American countries, is not a spontaneous uprising of fanatical Papists: it is being deliberately orchestrated, and has been for many years now, in response to the urging of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and of the pope of Rome himself! Here are the facts:
As far back as May 1986 the pope of Rome, John Paul II, issued a worldwide directive to all bishops and priests to work against what he called “sects” and “cults”. Rome is in the habit of referring to all evangelical Protestants (of whatever type, and not all are true Christians, of course) as “sects” and “cults”, lumping them all together with such cults as the Moonies and others. Among those referred to in this way were fundamentalist evangelical churches active in Latin America. A Vatican official said the Romish authorities wanted to “take action” to “deal with them”. Now when simple peasant Papists in remote rural parts of Mexico and other Latin American countries hear such remarks, how do they interpret them? How do they understand “taking action” to “deal” with Protestants? The dead bodies of pastors and the burnt-down church buildings are mute testimony to how such remarks are interpreted by Papists in these places.
On the 7th February 1987, during his meeting with Guatemala’s ambassador to the Vatican, John Paul II expressed concern over the evangelistic efforts of what he termed “fundamentalist-type sects” in Guatemala, which, he said, were sowing “confusion and division”. And two years later, on the 20th January 1989, he addressed the bishops of Guatemala and encouraged them to combat the “aggressive proselytising campaign” of Protestant fundamentalists.
On the 16th January 1989, over 100 Roman Catholics in the Mexican village of El Cerillo beat a local Protestant pastor to death with stones and clubs while he was conducting a service in his home. He had been repeatedly warned by the Roman Catholic population of the village that he would be killed if he continued preaching. And on the same day, east of Mexico City in Los Reyes La Paz, police found the body of a young Protestant pastor in an empty parking lot. He had been stoned to death. He had often been threatened by Roman Catholics. Those bloodthirsty Papists were, as far as they were concerned, merely carrying out the orders of their pope and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It did not matter that they had not heard their “Church” leaders actually say, “Go out and kill Protestants.” The Roman Antichrist well knew that in deeply traditionalist Mexico, many of his poor followers would interpret his words, and those of the bishops, in this way.
As he had done in Guatemala in January 1989, so John Paul II did again in Mexico a month later, on the 24th February: he urged Mexico’s bishops to combat the “growing proselytism” of what he termed “fundamentalist sects and new religious groups”, saying that this proselytism “sows confusion among the faithful” and “attacks the Catholic culture of your people.”
Also in 1989 the pope told a group of Latin American bishops and Vatican officials that the spread of “sects” threatened the Roman Catholic “Church” in Latin America, and that their activity was a “pastoral worry”. Again, how would the fanatical Papists of Central and South America interpret his words? The evidence speaks for itself:
On the 2nd February 1990 on a mountain near Mexico City, a group of 160 had gathered to pray. A Roman Catholic mob of 10 000 people, many drunk, attacked them with rocks, bottles, sticks, guns and machetes, shouting, “Kill them! We are going to crucify them!” Even the police were attacked when they arrived. There were also threats to rape women. No one was actually killed in this attack, amazingly.
During 1990, at least 30 Protestant church buildings in one Mexican state were closed because of threats made against the members by Roman Catholics. A Protestant woman was refused burial, and the local priest told her relatives that everyone in the town must return to the Roman Catholic religion. A newspaper published in Mexico City, El Universal, referred to Protestants as “a real plague” and “unbearable”. It was simply echoing the sentiments of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and of the Roman pope himself.
In early 1991 a Protestant pastor in Equador was killed when a Roman Catholic mob, incited by their priests, attacked the Protestants during their service and stoned and beat them. In the same year a Roman Catholic mob, armed with axes, cudgels and machetes, destroyed the homes of 17 Presbyterian families of the Izellal Indian tribe in southern Mexico. They had to spend the night in the open air.
In October 1991 John Paul II visited Brazil, where he said that one of the problems facing the Brazilian Roman Catholic “Church” was the rapid growth of fundamentalist “sects”. He again repeated what he had said in previous years, that these “sects” were deceptive and were sowing confusion. And again, ignorant, devout Papists took his words to heart and continued to violently persecute Protestants.
In an interview in 1992, Vatican delegate to Mexico, Girolamo Prigione, attacked all evangelicals, saying, “Sects, like flies, should be chased out.” He also said, in the context of discussions regarding Mexico’s proposed constitutional amendments on religion: “Authentic justice does not mean giving the same [treatment] to everyone.” And Mexican cardinal, Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, said, “There cannot be equal treatment in the laws for all religious groups in an indistinct manner”. With statements like these being made by high-ranking Roman Catholic officials, is it any wonder that ignorant Roman Catholics undertook to use force to eliminate Protestants in their communities?
In June 1992 in Mexico, a Protestant man was shot 38 times, and his body was then hacked to pieces with machetes, in full view of two of his children. What was his crime? Simply that he refused the order of Roman Catholic municipal leaders to lead his small congregation in Saltillo, Chiapas State, into exile, abandoning their lands and belongings.
In October 1992, during his visit to the Dominican Republic, John Paul II again used strong words to describe the Protestant “sects” which he saw as a threat to the Roman Catholic religion in Latin America. He called them “rapacious wolves” and said they were responsible for division and discord in Roman Catholic communities throughout the region. And he added that their “expansion and aggressiveness” needed to be confronted. Well, when devout Papists hear the one they believe to be Christ’s Vicar on earth branding Protestants as “rapacious wolves”, they readily resort to violence against them.
In January 1993 Roman Catholic archbishop, Prospero Penados de Barrio of Guatemala City, said that Guatemalan Roman Catholics should make a new year’s resolution to stop the spread of “evangelical sects” in Guatemala. He quoted John Paul II as saying that “the proselytising of the sects suffocates the Christian [i.e. Papist] faith” and that their message “dilutes the coherence and unity of God’s Word.” And on the 26th February that year, in Mexico’s Chiapas state, an evangelist was holding a service in the home of a member of a Protestant church when a mob of 500 Papists broke down the doors and attacked the 150 people inside. 17 male members of the church were beaten, stoned, and then jailed for four days without food.
And further inflammatory statements continued to be made by high-ranking Papist officials across Latin America. For example, in 1994 a Brazilian archbishop named Bohn, addressing the national conference of bishops in Brazil, said: “We will declare a holy war; don’t doubt it… the Catholic Church has a ponderous structure, but when we move, we’ll smash anyone beneath us.” He said that an all-out holy war was unavoidable unless the 13 largest Protestant churches and denominations signed a treaty requiring them to stop all evangelism efforts in Brazil. In exchange, Roman Catholics would agree to stop all persecution of Protestants (an admission that Papists were persecuting Protestants, and absolutely no remorse for it!). He called his proposal an “ultimatum”, saying it would leave no room for discussion. This man’s war talk would have been broadcast throughout the Latin American countries.
In September 1994, three Protestants were murdered, and a 13-year-old girl was raped, by Roman Catholics in San Juan Chamula, Mexico. Over 500 Protestants had been exiled from their homes for a year, and when they returned they were attacked by 300 Roman Catholics, led by powerful authorities; and it was in this attack that the murders and the rape occurred. The three were murdered in their own homes. Reason? The Roman Catholic authorities hated the Protestants because they would not purchase their alcohol or participate in their parties. The mayor of San Juan Chamula was suspected of being involved in covering up the violent crimes in the area for the past 20 years.
In May 1995, local political leaders in Hidalgo State, Mexico, used threats, imprisonment and forced labour to pressurise newly-converted Protestants to recant. The pastor of a church in the town of Aguatitla said that the harassment was aimed at several families, newly converted, in the nearby town of Pueblo. Two converts were jailed overnight and denied food and water. A local resident tried to defend them, but was also detained, and another man who tried to defend them was tied to a tree all night. The next day the Protestants were ordered to begin four days of forced labour without pay, hauling and breaking rocks for 12 hours a day. Then they were ordered to sign a document stating that they would not worship with their fellow Protestants.
On the same day that the two Protestants were jailed, local political leaders held a town assembly and announced that the “new” religion of Protestantism was false, and should be eradicated from Pueblo. Townspeople then threatened to burn down the homes of Protestants and chase them out of town.
In September 1995, John Paul II told Brazilian bishops that their “Church” must do more to fight the influence of religious sects and the “serious damage” they were causing to the Roman Catholic faithful.
In 1996 it was reported in the Washington Post, “In the last two decades, as many as 30 000 former Catholics who have converted to Protestantism have been expelled form their home towns in Chiapas…. In perennial conflicts that have surged in recent months, many of the converts have been burned out of their homes. Others have been beaten, tortured, raped, and hundreds have been killed”.
Also in 1996 the UK’s Sunday Telegraph reported: “John Paul II summoned all his strength for a fiery anathema against the Protestant sects [in Central America], rebuking them for their insolence and malice. He was flanked by Central American bishops in full regalia, a striking display of the splendour and magisterium of the Catholic Church.” Such words, such anger from the pope, would have been taken to heart by the fanatical Roman Catholics of Latin America.
In 2001 the Roman Catholic cardinal, Maradiaga, of Honduras, attacked “evangelical sects” in Honduras, and appealed to the government to review the work of such “sects”. And also in 2001, Protestants in three Mexican villages were threatened with imprisonment, expulsion from their homes, denial of access to water and electricity, and death. In San Nicolas, in the central state of Hidalgo, Protestants were given a deadline to renounce their faith, or they would be forced to leave their homes and community. In Arroyo-Arena San Lorenzo La Lana, Choapa, in the southern state of Oaxaca, two Protestants, newly converted, were imprisoned on two separate occasions and told to deny their faith. In addition, local authorities ordered that six Protestant families in the community (a total of 40 people) were to have their water and electricity cut off, and their homes and animals burned. They also received death threats. And in Los Llanitos, Teopisca, in the southernmost state of Chiapas, town authorities formally declared in May that the town’s Protestants would be expelled unless they agreed to participate in all the Roman Catholic festivals.
Yet again in 2002, the Roman pope urged Brazilian bishops to counter the influence of “sects”.
And the incidents reported here are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been thousands more over the decades: beatings, tortures, rapes, murder. Clearly, the devout Papists of Latin America are taking the papal words to heart, and violently persecuting Protestants wherever and whenever they think they can get away with it.
This persecution of Protestants did not happen in the Dark Ages, it is happening now! This is the true nature of Roman Catholicism. This is what she has ever been: a giant persecuting false religious system. And what she is doing to Protestants in Mexico and some other places, she would gladly do to Protestants anywhere else, the very moment she has the opportunity, all present talk of “love” and “unity” notwithstanding. Foolish, ecumenically-minded “Protestants” throughout the world have been deceived by Rome into believing that the old, hate-filled, persecuting Roman Catholic institution is a thing of the past, and that in its place a new, loving, friendly, kind, gentle Roman Catholic “Church” has emerged. They have fallen for the Vatican’s extremely clever global public relations exercise, and they have done so because they are utterly ignorant of what the Bible teaches. Men err when they do not know or believe the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29), and ignorance of the Bible is almost universal within so-called “Protestantism” today. The great biblical truths which believers of the past held so dear have been forgotten, or distorted, or ignored. A “feel-good”, sensationalist-seeking emotionalism has taken the place of sound doctrine.
What saith the Scripture? It says that Popery, that great, wicked, antichristian religious system, is “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:6). Does Scripture anywhere indicate that there would come a time when the Great Whore would cease to persecute the saints of God? No; it does not. Quite the contrary, in fact: we read in Dan. 7:21,22 that the Papal system will make war with the saints right until the very end! In those lands where she finds it necessary, she employs the ecumenical approach: presenting herself as a grand old lady, smiling benignly upon Protestants and imploring them, ever so sweetly, to unite with her; but in those lands where she can get away with it, she shows herself to be the same old Harlot that she has ever been.
Christians must pray for their brethren in Christ in places such as Mexico. You who still enjoy many freedoms: have you any idea what it is like to stand for Christ in a country such as Mexico? If you do not purchase alcohol or participate in drunken revellings of false religious festivals, people may think you are mad, and at the worst you may be laughed at, or jeered; but in Mexico, you may be killed! Bless God for the safer circumstances in which the Lord has placed you; but pray for your brethren in Mexico, and pray for men to be raised up to go to that land with the Gospel; and pray, too, for yourself, for it may be that you will one day face the trials they are facing. Are you ready to suffer for your Lord?
Be not deceived by her! She may wear a smile on her harlot’s face today, but it is the smile on the face of the tiger.
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other news articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
.The Voice of the Martyrs, June 2008, article: “The Living Word in Chiapas.” Christian Mission International, Primrose Hill, South Africa.
.Rome Watch International, Vol. 11, No. 5, September/October 2006. Open-Bible Ministries, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
.The Voice of the Martyrs, June 2008.
.The Voice of the Martyrs, June 2008.
.Battle Cry, July/August 1986. Chick Publications, Chino, California, USA.
.The Southern Cross, 1 March 1987 (southern African Roman Catholic weekly).
.The Southern Cross, 12 February 1989.
.Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, by Alan Campbell, pg.1. Open-Bible Ministries, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
.The Southern Cross, 2nd April 1989.
.The Southern Cross, 24 December 1989.
.The Rock, Vol. 45, No. 4, May 1990. Protestant Publications, Epping, N.S.W., Australia.
.Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, pgs. 2,3.
.The Reformer, March/April 1991. The Protestant Alliance, Bedford, UK.
.Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, pg. 3.
.The Southern Cross, 27 October 1991.
.Battle Cry, July-August 1992.
.Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, pg. 12.
.The Southern Cross, 1 November 1992.
.The Southern Cross, 17 January 1993.
.Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, pg. 7.
.The Beacon, Fall 1994. The Berean Beacon.
.Bulletin for Truth International Ministries, Vol. 26, January 1995; reported in The Bible Based Ministries Magazine (South Africa), February-March 1995, No. 76, article: “Mexican Presbyterians Murdered by Roman Catholics.”
.Scarlet Threads, August 1995, Vol. 1, Issue 8; reported in The Bible Based Ministries Magazine (South Africa), July-November 1996, No. 82, article: “Ongoing Persecution of Mexican Protestants by Roman Catholics.”
.The Southern Cross, September 24, 1995.
.Washington Post, February 6, 1996; reprinted in Blood Behind the Purple Curtain, pg. 11.
.The Sunday Telegraph, reported in The Reformer, May/June 1996.
.English Churchman, May 18 and 25 2001, No. 7559. Wedmore, Somerset, UK.
.Rome Watch International, Vol. 6, No. 5, September 2001.
.The Southern Cross, September 11 to 17, 2002.
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