Baptists expelled from homes in Mexican community

Ten Baptist families were expelled from Tuxpan de Bolano, in Jalisco, Mexico, when they refused to recant their faith. (Creative Commons Photo / Bolanos / David Carlson)

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TUXPAN DE BOLANOS, Mexico—A town assembly in Tuxpan de Bolanos—a community in Jalisco, Mexico—expelled 10 Baptist families from their community when they refused to recant their faith.

Citizens loaded the 28 Baptists—18 adults and 10 children—into a pickup truck and abandoned them in the nearby mountains, according to a report from International Christian Concern.

Daniel Rangel, director of Texas Baptists’ River Ministry, confirmed the report. Rangel noted he had communicated by text messages with Regional Baptist Convention Emmanuel officials throughout the week in regard to the situation.

The general secretary of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico forwarded a message to the Baptist World Alliance from the Regional Baptist Convention Emanuel in Guadalajara, saying Baptist families had been “stripped of their property and expelled from their community for being Christians.”

“We have been looking for the intervention of the authorities in this problem, but as a solution has not yet been found to the conflict, our brothers are unprotected,” the message said.

The message appealed to other Baptists in Mexico to take a love offering to provide for the needs of the families.

International Christian Concern—a human rights organization in Washington, D.C., that focuses on persecuted Christians worldwide—called the situation in Jalisco “the latest in a decades-long system of persecution of evangelical Christians in rural Mexico.”

The organization estimated more than 70 open cases of religious persecution against minority Christian communities in five other Mexican states—Chiapas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero.

“ICC is disturbed to learn of another instance of religious minorities being expelled by local governments on the basis of their faith,” said Nate Lance, advocacy manager for the human rights group.

“It is equally disturbing that despite being notified of multiple cases of persecution throughout rural Mexico, the state and federal governments refuse to protect their religious minorities or prosecute perpetrators. As a result, these families are now religious refugees in their own country.

“In the strongest terms, we demand that the government of Mexico intervene and reinstate the freedom of worship that their constitution is meant to guarantee.”

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