Thirty thousand evangelical Christians participated in a peace march last Sunday in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. A gathering organized by the church Jesus is the Camino in response to the escalation of violence targeting evangelicals in the north of the state.
Last Sunday, in the town of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Mexico, was held a march for peace organized by Pastor José Pérez Pardo, of the Jesús es El Camino church (Jesus is the way in French Editor's note).
According to the pastor, the march was a response to the persistence of violence, particularly against evangelical indigenous Christians. Evangelical Focus recalls the numerous episodes of religious intolerance experienced by evangelical Christians in the state of Chiapas.
In 2019, the daily evoked the detention for almost 24 hours of twelve evangelicals who had refused to contribute to a Catholic religious celebration in the local district of the municipality of Zinacantán.
In 2021, Evangelical Focus mentioned also the destruction of five houses belonging to evangelicals by local authorities and traditionalist Catholics in the municipality of Mitzitón. According to the information site, since 1982, around 180 evangelical family homes have been destroyed in this municipality alone.
Mexico is ranked 38th in theGlobal Index of Persecution of Christians 2023 from the NGO Portes Ouvertes which indicates that although the country is predominantly Catholic, persecution against Christians is nevertheless increasing. According to the organization, they "are perceived as a threat to ambient crime since they do not obey the demands of armed groups." The state of Chiapas is experiencing a “violation of the rights of Christians within indigenous communities”.
The march, which brought together various ethnic groups including the Tzotzil and the Chol, was also aimed at asking God to lead government leaders.
Pastor José Pérez Pardo stressed that this demonstration was also a way of giving glory to God for the peace that the State has experienced since the Zapatista movement of 1994 (a movement which seized several towns in Chiapas by declaring war on government to defend the autonomy of indigenous peoples Editor's note).