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Region   Latin America
Population   133 870 000
Christian Population   128 229 000 (95.8%)
Main Religion   Christianity
2021 Ranking   37
2020 Ranking   52

37Mexico

The increasing presence of criminal groups and their struggle for territorial control create an environment where Christians—and particularly Christian leaders—face the constant risk of being targeted for violence. Christians are perceived as a threat to criminal activities because they oppose corruption and drug use, or because they explicitly reject any demands or requests of criminal organisations. Christians who are outspoken about the hope of Jesus in the face of drug trafficking and violence are often targeted by gangs to remove any obstacle in their quest for control.

In indigenous communities, anyone who decides to abandon the community’s religious beliefs or syncretistic practices often faces rejection and punishment in the form of fines, incarceration or forced displacement.

Finally, there has been an increase in violent and discriminatory acts against Christians by people who believe Christians are bigoted, xenophobic or opposed to women’s rights. Churches have been attacked and graffitied by protestors, and reports on the ground suggest openness to Christian ethics in the public sphere is decreasing, even though Mexico is supposed to value pluralism.

Meet Pastor Genaro*

“There have been missionaries that have gone up to the mountain areas and have come back down regretting it. The closer you get to what people in those areas call ‘hot spots,’ life becomes much more difficult. You risk your life and the lives of your loved ones. While I was there, I heard so many sad stories.”

*Name changed for security reasons

pray

Pray for Mexico

  • Pray for Christian leaders who risk so much to serve their church communities in places where they are the targets of organised criminals. Ask God to spare them from violence and to care for their entire family and church in dealing with the violence and trauma.
  • Pray for Christians who convert out of their community’s belief system. Pray for a softening of hearts among local leaders, and that Christians would be safe and able to be a light for Christ’s hope in the middle of a dark situation.
  • Pray for Christians struggling to see how they fit into Mexican society. Ask God to give them compassion and courage, as they risk their lives and livelihood to walk in faith.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Mexico?

The ministry of Open Doors in Mexico works to bring structural change to the persecution situation in Mexico by helping to provide solutions to the spiritual and material needs of persecuted believers. Open Doors also engages and equips the Mexican Church to reach out directly to those suffering persecution.

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