A young man on Godtube very innocently asked me how things are in Mexico. Since he is Catholic, we have discussed, sometimes heatedly, the cases of religious intolerance and persecution here in Mexico, which are normally, sad to say, Catholic against Evangelical/non-Catholic. I'll leave my response intact... my concerns and observations about the seriousness of the situation here, after 20 years being part of Mexico, are not an exaggeration... I tend to understate the situation. Please, as Mexico is celebrating her Patriot Days... September 14th,15th Independence Day... keep her and her people in prayer. "Dear Kyle...nice to hear from you...We of The Voice of the Martyrs in Mexico specifically encourage those who are being persecuted for being evangelicals, by the majority who would be what they call here traditional Catholics... it would be more accurate to say tribal Catholicism because of the mixture of pagan Indian culture and rites blended with the basics of Catholicism. I taught catechism for years so I can tell you it's a type that wouldn't seem too familiar to you. The archbishops in Chiapas are focusing ,by orders of Pope Benedict, on re-evangelizing the Indians, and calling for them to reason on a more civilized level in dealing with justice/punishment and those who choose to worship in a different Christian church. They really have to, because the rest of the evangelical world is drawing the federal government's attention to the religious injustice that happens here and the RC Church has come under attack for not doing more to correct and teach her people. I'm very sorry to say that the antagonism here in Latin America between Catholic and non- Catholic is rampant and very aggressive. The Voice of the Martyrs is interdenominational, and ministers that you must love and forgive others who hate you, as Jesus did. It's not a very popular part of the gospel to preach...and the Mexicans tell me it can't be done...I tell them we have no choice...we will be and are forgiven to the extent that we are willing to forgive others...that's what the Our Father's Prayer says right? As for how things are in Mexico right now, it's pretty bad...we are in the middle of a very violent war of opposing drug (narcos) traffickers ... the state I live in is one of the worst...people step back out of "respect" (that means a healthy fear) when I say I'm from Sinaloa...Our narcos were "fairly" civil... but are in a war with several other bands, principally backed by the Zetas( former military personel trained by US special forces in the fight against the drug cartels...) who especially like to torture and decapitate their victims. I live outside of ... yesterday there was a major shoot out on the principal highway, from which one of our pastors,only for the grace of God , escaped after witnessing a young man murdered before his eyes...There were helicopters, police, the army... big show. Two young men from my neighborhood were kidnapped(snatched/levantados) by an armed group outside of town Thursday, and were found decapitated along with 2 others not yet identified. They were our neighbors when we first moved here... little kids. Died at 21 and 26 years of age... a few of many in the past few months in Mexico who have been eliminated by one or other rival cartel. I'll go this afternoon to the wake... I can't imagine how their mother will survive this. It makes me sick and angry! We had a shoot out here in front of my house,last weekend... 11pm... I was chatting with my neighbor... one shot rang out... we didn't move. We're used to hearing it. At the 2nd, she shouted run for cover... and I tried to get in my daughters's house downstairs... so as not to draw attention to those shooting on the corner. I figured they were coming our way since the house in front of us is a local major drug supplier. Well, my son-in-law had already locked the door and gone to bed... At the 3rd shot.. .I hit the floor on the porch and kept on banging on the door for him to open the OOPS door. He almost died when he opened it and found me on the floor.. .he automatically went on hands and knees to grab his 3 year old son, and I went looking for my daughter... who was crying in the shower outside, because she got trapped in the patio when she heard the shooting... and then somebody jump over the wall with the police hot after them. We sat in the corner for awhile, until the police gave us word it was safe to come out. Had nothing to do with the narcos in front... was some guys smoking marijuana on top of one of the roofs, who took a pot (pun intended) shot at the cops... since dozens of cops have been tortured and killed in the last few months , they shot back... and I don't blame them. Everyone is responsable for what has been developing here for decades... My best advice is to start with: 2nd Chronicles 7:14 and go on from there... REPENT: one by one, NO ONE LEFT OUT... Silent protests don't work... tolerance and minding your own business don't work... It's repentance and changed hearts that are needed... Sorry to hit you so hard ... you happened to be the first that I was able to express my feelings with... Love in Christ, Linda in Mexico PS... This morning as I was getting ready to go and minister in the prison, I found in headlines on the front page an article about the decapitated head of a 30 year old policeman being left in front of the prison... he was "picked up" by a group of armed men at 11pm, and killed shortly afterwards... It's now more dangerous here than in Iraq. In two weeks there have been 24 assasinated in mass in Mexico City, 13 decapitated in Yucatan, 13 more decapitated in Chihuahua, 5 in Mazatlan, 5 in Michoacan, and an uncountable number of law "enforcement" officers liquidated... Pray for Mexico and it's people... 2nd Chronicles 7:14: IF MY PEOPLE, WHICH ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY, AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN, AND I WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.