|Persecution Type:||Ethnic Antagonism|
|Persecution Level:||Very High|
|Government:||Federal Presidential Republic|
|Leader:||President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador|
Due to the government’s inability to confront violence, some Christians feel forced to implement their own security strategies against acts of Christian persecution, including engaging leaders of criminal groups themselves. Organized crime primarily targets priests and pastors, while indigenous power holders pressure Christians through fines, denying basic community service and imprisonment. The state attorney general in Guerrero has falsely implied that priests were engaged in criminal activity, further inflaming religious tensions.
Christians, their leaders and their church buildings are increasingly becoming victims of attacks, threats, extortion, and other pressures–not just in those states known to be the most violent, but throughout the whole country. There is a strong presence of criminal cells in more regions than before as well. As a result, Christians are increasingly becoming victims of harassment, criticism and ridicule, especially in public debates concerning abortion, same-sex marriage and comprehensive sex education.
In April 2018, three priests were killed. One was abducted in Cuernavaca and died in the process of his rescue. Another was shot dead in Jalisco in his church office. A third was stabbed to death inside a church in Mexico City. Elevated violence has led churches to change their activities to minimize threats, including prohibiting church leaders from going out alone and church members from bringing valuables to the church.
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