Date: March 12, 2022
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)
Last week, many of you joined us for the launch of our new ‘Let her be heard’ report, which looks at the situation of indigenous religious minority women in Mexico.
Among them are six women from Jalisco state who belong to the Wixáritari community. For years, they have experienced discrimination in many different forms because they are Protestant Christians, while the majority follow a traditional shamanistic belief system.
Yolanda is one of the women who told us of the pressure there is to take part in the communal religious practices of the majority, and the illegal fines they’re given if they resist that pressure. She said:
‘They force you to believe what they believe. They force you to practise the customs, even if it is against what you believe, and if you do not do it, they sell your things to pay the fine.’
As well as fines, the consequences of not participating can include harassment, taunts, violence, and denial of basic rights like education or medical treatment. Many families have been forced to leave their homes and the community.
But Victoria, another woman from Jalisco, still declared:
‘I am not ashamed to be a [Protestant] Christian. They have tried to sow fear in us with threats, exclusion and jail, but they cannot change us.’
Today, please pray for Yolanda, Victoria and all the other indigenous religious minority women across Mexico who shared their stories of suffering with us. Pray also for those whose stories have yet to be heard.
In summary, please pray:
- Psalm 42:8 over these women, that they may know God’s love and presence at all times and in all places.
- That God will strengthen, sustain and provide for those who have been forced from their homes or expelled from their communities.
- That the international community will hear their voices and respond in action, to make freedom of religion or belief a reality for every citizen in Mexico.