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ICC Note: According to reports, on June 29 three elderly nuns were bound and physically assaulted in their parish home in Oaxaca State, Mexico. This attack was one of many incidents of rising persecution against Christians in Mexico, including the attack of a priest from the same village less than a year prior. According to a 2014 report from the Vatican, more Catholic priests were murdered in Mexico than in any other country.

07/03/2015 Mexico (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) – Three elderly nuns were tied up, gagged and assaulted by unknown assailants in their parish home in Matias Romero municipality, Oaxaca State, Mexico on 29 June. This attack comes nine months after a similarly brutal attack on the parish priest in the same village.

In a statement issued on 30 June, The Bishop of Tehuantepec condemned the attack on the nuns from Apostolic Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the September 2014 attack on Father Victorino López Nolasco: “We observe with sadness and indignation that this violence has not been combatted in a timely or effective manner. Indifference, under-handedness, and on occasion the complicity of public institutions and society itself have tolerated and fostered the growth of criminality.”

“We cannot continue to avoid our responsibility to eradicate this evil that will end by destroying social development and even the lives of many people, including the lives of our young people… For this reason as citizens and as believers we take a stand against all kinds of violence. We ask the Authorities, who are responsible for protecting the security of citizens, that they do their job to eradicate this social evil which appears to be expanding like a plague in our region.”

The attacks on the nuns and Father López Nolasco involved robbery; in Father López Nolasco’s case, money from the week’s offerings was taken. In both cases, however, the victims were held hostage for a number of hours and subjected to severe violence, prompting questions about the motives for the attacks. Father López Nolasco was so badly beaten that his ‘head was opened up.’ The priest recovered from the attack and continues to work in the parish.

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