Village leaders cut the water supply and sewage services to 30 Protestant families in Mariano Matamoros, Chiapas State on 14 June. Appeals for government intervention to protect the victims’ rights in the days preceding the action went unanswered. Village leaders have indicated that the next step will be the confiscation of the Protestants’ private land. The Protestants in the village belong to three different Protestant denominations. Hostilities against them began in May 2012 and include physical attacks, the illegal confiscation of private property and attempts to forcibly convert them to Catholicism.
Hopes were raised in January when the state government negotiated and signed an agreement with the victims which included religious freedom guarantees and a promise that all arbitrarily confiscated land would be returned to the rightful owner. However, the state government failed to take any steps to fulfil its commitments and in March the village authorities issued a new decree that prohibited all Protestants from buying or selling in the village. Similar promises to resolve severe and ongoing violations of religious freedom were made by the Chiapas State Government to at least seven other communities in December and January. Despite giving itself a deadline of April 2014 to fully implement the agreements, the government has failed to do so.
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- Ask the Lord to provide all necessities for these families. Pray there will be many advocates for them so the situation will be speedily resolved.
- Pray God will use this present suffering and uncertainty to strengthen their faith and dependence on Him.
- Pray the Gospel in Chiapas may be preached purely and truthfully. Pray for a greater level of understanding of God’s Word throughout the region.
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