Mexico (MNN) — What do you think of when you think of Mexico? Illegal immigration? A hot vacation spot? What you may not realize is how much persecution exists there and how widespread it is.
Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs, Canada said much of this persecution stems from people who make a decision for Christ and then turn their backs on parts of their culture: "What's happening are people that have been in traditionalist religion, which would be combining Catholicism with pagan rituals. And [as] people come to know Jesus Christ, they no longer want to participate in those rituals … The evangelicals says this doesn't line up with the Bible, we don't want to do that, we want to follow Jesus. And as a result, they are pressured; sometimes they're kicked out of the community; sometimes churches are destroyed or people are beaten up; and there have even been some deaths of evangelicals."
As people come to Christ, they are excited to read the Bible, pray, and share their new-found faith with others. However, this makes them more vulnerable to persecution, as those in their community see they have changed and abandoned some of the traditions they used to hold.
While Mexico does have religious freedom laws, much of the persecution takes place in more rural areas where it is harder for the government to keep tabs on how Christians are being treated.
Plus, Musselman said the response to the Gospel has been tremendous throughout these villages: "One of the reasons there's been an increase in persecution is the indigenous people are really responsive to the Gospel."
As the church grows, Musselman said persecution increases, but then the church grows even more.
To shed light on everything taking place there, VOMC created a video, Mexican Voices: Testimonies of the Persecuted.
"The idea is to bring awareness of what's going on in Mexico. When we think of persecution of Christians, we think of the Muslim world," Musselman said. They hope it will not only raise awareness among evangelical believers and cause them to stand behind believers in Mexico, but they also hope the video will show the Mexican government everything taking place against the law.
Please pray that the video will serve the purpose VOMC hopes it will, and it will encourage Mexican Christians to see they are not suffering alone and without the support of the Church around the world.