Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Some twenty-five Protestant families in Southern Mexico have had the water and electricity to their homes cut off and have been placed under virtual house arrest. The families’ refusal to participate in the traditional ceremonies of the Catholic Church has drawn the anger from village authorities for refusing to participate and fund the celebrations. A similar situation occurred in the same state in 2010 again targeting Protestant Christians.
02/27/2014 Mexico (CSW) – Twenty-five Protestant families have had their water and electricity supplies disconnected and have effectively been put under house arrest in Mexico because of their refusal to participate in Traditionalist Catholic religious ceremonies.
On 11 February, village authorities cut off the Protestant families’ water supply. Two days later, their electricity supply was also disconnected and chains, ropes and civilian guards were placed around the families’ homes in order to further isolate them. Also on 11 February, one member of the group was arbitrarily detained by village authorities and imprisoned for more than 24 hours after he attempted to reconnect his water while under the supervision of state officials and police. Village authorities in Unión Juárez, located in La Trinitaria municipality in the state of Chiapas also detained the police officers for ten hours.
Traditionalist Catholic village authorities are demanding that the families, who belong to the local Mount Tabor Evangelical Church, contribute financially to religious festivals and have said they will not permit the families to reconnect their services or receive visitors until they pay 500 pesos (approximately £23) each. The village authorities are justifying their actions as in line with the Law of Uses and Customs, which gives indigenous populations autonomy to exercise traditional forms of justice and to protect their culture.
The situation follows an escalation of discriminatory behaviour towards the group of Protestant Christians in La Trinitaria Municipality in Chiapas state, beginning in 2010, when the local village assembly blocked their access to firewood and refused them permission to attend or participate in village assembly meetings.
According to Luis Antonio Herrera, a local activist representing the victims, the families have pointed out that under the Mexican Constitution they cannot legally be forced to be involved in festivals or ceremonies linked to religions to which they do not ascribe. The victims have filed a complaint with the National Commission for Human Rights.

[Full Story]