Voice of the Martyrs, 25 August 2022 (excerpts)
In Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, Christian families often lose their livelihood when those opposed to their faith confiscate their land and expel them from their village. A ministry called Houses of Refuge provides one-room homes with a porch and outhouse for such families, and they may stay for up to a year as they try to relocate in an area where they can live free of persecution.
The families receive spiritual encouragement as well as hands-on training in cultivating coffee, raising livestock and farming corn and other crops to help them support themselves. Some of the women receive training in how to start and operate a small convenience store. After sensing God’s call, Pablo, a resident at the Houses of Refuge, was commissioned to return to the area where he had previously lived to proclaim the gospel to his persecutors.
Specific areas within southern Mexico have a high concentration of indigenous minority groups. These minority communities, which maintain a separate identity and language, are systematically oppressed by local authorities. Christians among them are persecuted by Marxist and animist groups as well as village leaders. These communities are remotely located and difficult to reach. Despite persecution, the number of Christians has continued to grow in these areas.
In difficult areas within southern Mexico, evangelical Christians make up about 3 percent of the population.