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.