Evangelical Christians in the San Cristóbal municipality of Chiapas State have faced opposition from other villagers for several years. In May 2016, 84 homes in the area were looted and partially destroyed, forcibly displacing 350 evangelicals. A year ago, these believers were prevented from constructing a church building and again forced to leave.
In the latest incident, the homes of five Christian families in the community of Mitzitón were destroyed on 10 January, and 30 people were expelled.
Many of the Tzotzil people, who practise a combination of traditional Aztec beliefs and Catholicism, have been strongly opposed to the growth of evangelical Christianity in their community. Sometimes they have blamed neighbouring followers of Christ for the misfortunes they themselves encountered.
The expelled Christians now must wait for a decision to be made by local leaders, determining if or when they will be allowed to return.
Sources: Evangélico Digital, Christian Post
- Pray that the Lord’s provision and protection will be upon all these persecuted Christians, including those who have been driven from their homes.
- Pray they will be allowed to return and live peacefully within their community.
- Ask God to soften the hearts of their opposers, that they may come to realise the hope and saving grace that are available to them through faith in Jesus Christ.
Post your prayers in the comments below.
Mr Han came to Christ after many years of being ill. Neither the doctor nor the village witch doctor could help him, even though he spent most of his money and killed much of his livestock.
He heard that Jesus could perform miracles, so he took his whole family to the Christian village to accept Christ. Then the persecution began.
The first year, his village threatened to force his family from the village and treated him with extreme contempt. When that didn’t work, they seized his farmland and his rubber trees. But Han still didn’t give up his faith.
Village officials then decided to charge Han an extra tax. Han was not discouraged; he challenged the authorities and continued to pray for the sick and share the Gospel with others. There are now 11 Christian families in the village worshipping at Han’s house, which is run-down due to the difficulties he has faced.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Praise God for the way he has healed and led Han. Praise Him too for Han’s strong and courageous Gospel witness in the community.
- Pray for those who oppose Han and his message of hope and salvation.
- Ask God to bless and encourage the Christians who worship together in Han’s home. Ask the Lord for His provision.
Post your prayers in the comments below.
I had the privilege of travelling to Myanmar on behalf of Voice of the Martyrs from 13 to 17 June.
Our destination was Myitkyina, to connect with leaders who were helping to organise an emergency project to feed 2700 people.
Many of the Christian Kachin folk of North Myanmar, have been displaced through persecution, and they have been forced to leave their homes, churches and villages, as the government has declared an ethnic cleansing of minority Christian groups.
Together with our contact on the ground in Myanmar, we were able to muster 100 volunteers, putting together 532 emergency packs, consisting of rice, beans, salt, sugar, oil, condensed milk, garlic, onions, matts, mosquito nets, clothes and washing powder. We provided $16,000 for the packs and were able to source Christian wholesalers to purchase the items.
The packs were distributed to approximately 2700 people in several camps, over two weeks so that it would not be too conspicuous, as the military had restricted access to the camp. Distribution was completed, either by night or by selected avenues through the fence unnoticed.
During this most recent conflict, houses and motorbikes were destroyed and burnt, many were killed and wounded in the cross fire, wives became widows, women were raped, children became orphans, and people lost their homes and farms.
Having to run for their lives, avoiding the onslaught of the military, roads were also blocked, (with plans to trap those escaping), so families had to resort to running through bush terrain on foot, as this was their only chance. This they did for five days, (surviving the elements), until they arrived at a place of temporary safety.
The Assemblies of God church in Myanmar purchased land and provided a safe haven for the displaced, who were able to build make shift tents for homes, this location is called Camp Tanai.
While villages were being taken over by the military, those who were slow to leave were arrested and taken to prison tortured or killed.
At the temporary refugee camps, strict rules are in place, as the military only allow the women and children to leave and enter, and not the men. The reason is, that the Buddhists try to persuade the women and children to recant their faith and turn back to Buddhism, then train them in the religion of the government.
This is happening in many parts of the world, for Christianity and the Bible are a threat to their governments and their government systems.
Sickness is prevalent, being that these makeshift camps are so congested with limited food and clean water, causing dysentery, colds and flu.
While I was there, I asked these persecuted believers, would you like to go back to your village and re-build? Their answer was no, for they are certain they would be killed.
We are looking to continue with the work in Myanmar among the persecuted Kachin people in the north.
Please pray for our Kachin brothers and sisters.