Seven Mexican evangelical Christians have reportedly been jailed for refusing to convert to Catholicism. International Christian Concern (ICC) reports the individuals were imprisoned in Chiapas on Dec. 15.
Eight evangelical families in Leyva Velazques were ordered to sign documents indicating their conversion to Catholicism or face expulsion. When seven individuals refused, they were imprisoned.
Christian Today reports the incident is an example of growing religious persecution in Mexico, where 82.7 percent of the population practice Roman Catholicism. Though Mexicans have the right to practice the religion of their choosing according to their Constitution, religious minorities are targeted in rural areas of the country without intervention from state or federal officials.
ICC Advocacy Director Isaac Six said, “It is simply unconscionable for the state and federal governments of Mexico to repeatedly ignore the arbitrary arrest and expulsion of their own citizens by local governments on the basis of religious belief.”
"Today, hundreds of men, women, and children are homeless in Mexico because they chose to follow their beliefs, and because their government refused to act. We call on the federal government of Mexico to immediately intervene and halt the unlawful detention of members of the evangelical community in Leyva Velazques.”
Publication date: December 21, 2015