It’s become incredibly dangerous for priests to carry out their work: since 2012, at least 25 Roman Catholic priests and lay leaders have been murdered or forcibly disappeared by violent criminal groups. The Vatican has listed Mexico as the most dangerous place in the world for priests, for eight consecutive years. Today, please pray God’s protection over priests in Mexico as they carry out their duties.
On Christmas Day, please pray for Christians who have nowhere to celebrate one of the most important festivals in the Christian calendar because local authorities have prohibited them from worshipping. Pray they they’d be able to find somewhere to celebrate the birth of Christ, safely, peacefully and joyfully.
On 4 December more than 60 Baptists and Jehovah’s Witnesses were violently expelled from their homes in Jalisco state because of their religious beliefs. Community leaders destroyed their homes to make it even more difficult for them to return. Two years ago 20 Baptists were expelled from the same community and have not been allowed back. Please pray that God would provide for them and move the government to resolve their cases.
Members of religious minorities are frequently excluded from their communities because of their religious beliefs. In some cases they lose access to clean water and electricity, or are harassed, intimidated and even driven out of their homes. Today, please pray for a spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence in these communities.
It’s particularly tragic when children are stopped from going to school just because their parents follow a different religion to the rest of the community. If the situation worsens to the stage where they’re forced to leave their homes, this disrupts the children’s education even more. Pray that all Mexican children would have access to education no matter their faith or their parents’ faith.
Many of these cases worsen because the local government fails to act to uphold religious freedom, and the harsh discrimination goes unpunished. Today, pray that the local government would react quickly to violations of religious freedom, and that justice would be served.
Father God, we bring to you all those in Mexico who are cast out from their communities simply because of what they believe. Bring peace where there is division and justice where there is none, we pray. Amen.