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Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 570021
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12/10/2008 11:23 PM
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Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Heard this on radio news today...


MEXICO:CHRISTIANS IN GUERRERO EXPELLED FROM HOMES

In Chiapas, ‘traditionalist Catholics’ cut off water, electricity to 40 evangelicals.

MEXICO CITY, February 22 (Compass Direct News) – “Traditionalist Catholics” this week expelled 20 evangelical Christians from a town in Guerrero state and cut off the electricity and water supplies to eight Protestant families in Chiapas state, Christian sources said.


Authorities in Tenango Tepexi, Guerrero, on Monday (February 18) removed 20 Christians in three families, including 14 children, from their homes. Sources said the Christians were temporarily held in town offices, then loaded onto trucks and dumped on the edge of town.


Town leaders supportive of the “traditionalist Catholics,” who practice a blend of Catholic and native religion, told them they would be burned to death if they tried to return.

The reason for the expulsion of the evangelicals: failure to pay fees for the raucous, drunken festivals honoring Catholic saints. Contrary to the Mexican constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty, many indigenous communities obligate villagers to contribute to and participate in the “traditionalist Catholic” festivals.



To contravene the guarantee of religious freedom, autocratic town bosses or “caciques” cite a constitutional provision protecting local “uses and customs,” which Christian lawyers say is meant to prevent the government from prohibiting native practices – not force villagers to participate in them. On Wednesday (February 20), the mayor of the municipality to which Tenango Tepexi belongs, Tlapa de Comonfort, invoked the “uses and customs” argument to force the evangelicals to pay fees for the religious festivals, though they would refuse to attend.


“It is important that they participate in their cooperation [paying fees] to make the festival greater,” said Mayor Martiniano Benitez Flores.

He added that no legal action would be taken against the town for having expelled the believers. The mayor offered to house the refugees temporarily and provide food for them until they can find new means of livelihood, but they have lost their homes and property.

Expelled were Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez, his wife Francisca and seven children, plus Nicolas Gonzalez Perez, his wife Ernestina and six children, and Armando Morales Dircio, his wife Catarina and a 1-year old son.

Unresolved Cases

In Chiapas, in the Santa Rita area of La Trinitaria municipality, traditionalist Catholics led by Antonio Hernandez Aguilar and Rolando Aguilar Hernandez on Monday (February 18) cut off the water and electricity of 40 people from eight evangelical families.


The reasons were similar: Traditionalist Catholics insisted that the Christians pay not only for the religious festivals but also help fund repairs of a Catholic church building. The families had refused to pay a fee of 10,000 pesos (US$928).


According to the National Bar of Christian Lawyers, the Christian families have accumulated unpaid fees totaling 40,000 pesos (US$3,711).

Adan Aguilar Perez, an evangelical leader in La Trinitaria, said conflicts with traditionalist Catholics stem from government unwillingness to enforce laws against religious intolerance.

Evangelical leaders in Chiapas acknowledge, however, that the government has taken some steps to guarantee religious liberty, including formation of a committee to act as a liaison between evangelicals and the state government. Manuel Morales Agustin, who has worked to organize municipal committees across the state for all religious groups, has been named to head the panel.


Such baby steps have been long awaited. In another Chiapas town, Paste in Zinacantan municipality, believers have not had access to water since December 26, 2000. They have been surviving on water brought by occasional trucks.


“The Catholic majority of traditionalists decided to suspend the service in reprisal for professing the evangelical religion,” according to reporter Elio Henriquez of the newspaper Cuarto Poder.

Some communities have responded simply by capitulating. In the neighboring state of Oaxaca, which also has a large indigenous population, many evangelical groups have decided to pay whatever the towns require in order to keep peace, according to lawyer Enrique Ángeles Cruz.


Still unresolved in Oaxaca state is a case in Santo Domingo Nuxaá, in Nochixtlán, where town authorities simply took over the property of the Divine Redeemer church and are building on it without compensation, in spite of legal protests.

In light of such incidents, in early February more than 300 evangelicals took part in a human rights forum held in Frontera Comala, Chiapas, organized by the National Bar of Christian Lawyers headed by Alfonso Farrera Gonzalez. Also in attendance were leaders from state and municipal religious affairs offices.


The bar asserts that 39 cases of religious intolerance are unresolved in Chiapas, along with 15 others in other parts of Mexico.
[link to www.compassdirect.org]
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2008 11:23 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Can you blame the Chiapans?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 569856
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12/10/2008 11:28 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
one of the few smart things the Mexicans have done!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/10/2008 11:34 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Chiapans did it to fellow chiapans. Chiapans didn't do it, Catholics did.


Mexico: Oppression of Christians Persists in Various Parts of Country
Added: Nov 27th


Jailings, threats, fines, deprivation of water and electricity – all keep pace with church growth.

MEXICO CITY, November 25 (Compass Direct News) -- As the number of evangelical Christians in southern Mexico has grown, hostilities from "traditionalist Catholics" have kept pace, according to published reports.

Especially in indigenous communities in southern Mexico, the prevailing attitude is that only traditionalist Catholics, who blend native rituals with Roman Catholicism, have rights to religious practice, according to news reports. Moreover, the reports indicate the traditionalist Catholic villagers believe they have the right to force others to conform to their religion.

In Oaxaca state, four Christians in Santiago Teotlaxco, Ixtlan de Juarez district, were jailed on Nov. 16 for refusing to participate in a traditionalist Catholic festival and for not paying the high quotas they were assigned to help cover its costs, according to La Voz news agency. Their neighbors, now fewer than the town’s 180 Christian evangelicals, have been trying to force them to practice what the evangelicals regard as idolatrous adoration of saints and other rituals contrary to their faith.

As a result of such pressure, according to the news agency, non-Catholics in the area, including children, live in fear of being expelled from their properties.

In the community of Nachit, municipality of Zinacantan, Chiapas, five indigenous Christians were jailed for 24 hours on Nov. 4 for refusing to accept work assignments related to traditionalist Catholic festivals, according to the National Confraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches. Local officials ordered them to give up their Christian faith or they would “invent some crimes with which to accuse them and get them imprisoned,” according to Chiapas newspaper Expreso.

Also in Chiapas, Mexico’s southern-most state, local political bosses (caciques) deprived 24 evangelical families of a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Muctavits, municipality of San Andres Larrainzar, of their rights to government social programs, according to news reports. Local officials made the decision on Nov. 3 and a week later said they would fine the Christians 3,000 pesos (US$220) if they refused to contribute funds toward traditionalist Catholic festivals, according to Expreso.

Officials have also threatened to cut off the Christians’ electricity and water, church representative Hortencio Vasquez told La Jornada, and have eliminated all their community rights, thus depriving some evangelicals of their service on local government committees.

Last month local caciques forced evangelical families in the community of Nicolás Ruiz, Chiapas, to sign documents promising to hold religious services only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday or pay fines of up to 1,000 pesos (US$74) pesos per family. Seven evangelical families had already been expelled from the town for their faith, leaving behind all their possessions and property and taking refuge in the nearby municipality of Acala, reported Cuarto Poder newspaper in Chiapas.

In Guerrero state, two Christian families in Olinala had their drinking water and electricity cut off recently because they refused to participate in local religious customs, La Jornada reported. The families have been under threats to give up their faith since 2006.

“They were threatened with hanging due to their religious beliefs if they did not obey the orders of the municipal authorities,” the National Bar of Christian Lawyers’ Jorge Garcia Jimenez told the newspaper’s Guerrero edition.

As do traditionalist Catholics elsewhere in Mexico, officials in Olinala cited a constitutional provision protecting local “uses and customs” of communities in order to justify forcing evangelicals to contribute to and participate in the festivals, in violation of Mexico’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Christian lawyers say the “uses and customs” section was meant to prevent the government from prohibiting native practices – not force villagers to participate in them.

The threats and deprivation of basic services in Guerrero came on the heels of the kidnapping of the teenaged son of a prominent evangelical pastor in the same state. The kidnappers apparently rejected the ransom paid by the family as inadequate and have held the boy for two months.

Even in a state as far north as Hidalgo, a longstanding conflict erupted anew this month. After years of hostilities rooted in traditionalist Catholics’ intolerance of evangelical Christians, La Jornada reported, officials in San Nicolás, municipality of Ixmiquilpan, had finally granted a construction permit for Protestants to build a chapel.

But villagers claiming that construction without a town assembly vote violated a previous agreement stopped workers at the building site on Nov. 7. Local officials had to call in state police to forestall a violent confrontation, and no construction has been permitted since then.

Chiapas pastor and attorney Esdras Alonso González said at a press conference this week that cases of intolerance of evangelical Christians – all allowed and encouraged by local officials –also remain in the Zinacantan, Chiapas communities of Nachig, Pasté, Chiquinivalvó, Pestó and Buonchén.

In Pasté, he said, four families remain without water since October 14 for having refused to contribute funds for the traditionalist Catholic festivals, which often also involve drunken revelry.

“The municipal authorities of Zinacantan are not doing anything to resolve the problem,” he told reporters.

Copyright © 2008 Compass Direct News
[link to www.worthynews.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/10/2008 11:36 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
one of the few smart things the Mexicans have done!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 569856


All the problems of Mexico can be blamed on the Catholic church rule of the government. Same with all of South and Central America.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 502295
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12/10/2008 11:38 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
All the problems of Mexico can be blamed on the Catholic church rule of the government. Same with all of South and Central America.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 570021


oh please. you can say the same thing about evangelicas and america.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 570048
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12/10/2008 11:46 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
unbelivable.

how long before that hits here?

wow, I hope a long time.

I complain about things sometimes, but I'm glad to be in America.

I get the feeling that is a snapshot of our future.

Sure you can be Christian, but if the Catholic Church doesn't sign off on you, then you are SOL.

I shudder at the thought.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/10/2008 11:47 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
All the problems of Mexico can be blamed on the Catholic church rule of the government. Same with all of South and Central America.


oh please. you can say the same thing about evangelicas and america.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 502295


Catholics run DC too. DC is in MARYland...George Bush is a secret Catholic, Clinton too...Freemasons are Catholic Knights Templars....Your church runs the NWO.

You are just embracing a new dark age...what is the matter with you?

Read a book.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 555715
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12/10/2008 11:56 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Kick um out!!!!Christians are all low life assholes.

Religion is a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." [Bertrand Russell]



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Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 570021
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12/11/2008 12:03 AM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Kick um out!!!!Christians are all low life assholes.

Religion is a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." [Bertrand Russell]



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 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 555715


The pope would be proud of you....you are his programed tool for inquisition.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 570305
United States
12/11/2008 01:28 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
bump
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 570439
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12/11/2008 03:00 PM
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Re: Christians expelled from homes in Mexico for being evangelical
Kick um out!!!!Christians are all low life assholes.

Religion is a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." [Bertrand Russell]



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 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 555715


So would you apply BR's quote to the victims or perpretrators of this story?

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