While official statistics suggest that 95 per cent of the Mexican population are Christians, this is somewhat misleading. Only eight per cent are Evangelical. The remainder includes a mixture of forms of Catholic and indigenous Santeria practices, or the cult of the Holy Dead. The Catholic church and institutionalised religion are allied to political influence in a nominally secular state. Religious identity (both Catholic and animist) is often expressed as a form of political or cultural identity, rather than spiritual practice. There is a significant amount of anti-Protestant sentiment, which forms the backdrop for evangelical witness. During 2019, different churches are planning to be legally recognised by the government and thus have fewer restrictions. Pray for all this to happen correctly and legally.
Mexico’s new government took office in December. Pray that the newly elected officials would act with integrity and wisdom to uphold the country’s secular constitution, and to ensure justice for all citizens regardless of their religion or belief. The last time Mexico underwent its peer review of human rights at the UN, in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Member States made several recommendations for Mexico to improve its human rights situation. Pray today that the government would act on these recommendations.
We need theological and biblical education, we need to know and apply God’s revelation to us.’ That’s the constant message heard from church leaders as they teach and preach the good news in Mexico where the Protestant Church faces a critical few years. The government is about to pass a law that will require church leaders to have a BA in Theology. Few of the officially registered 55,000 pastors have any kind of theological/biblical training. Latin Link workers are part of a team developing a new school of theology to meet this need. Pray for God’s favour on those theological colleges seeking to provide the necessary training to pastors. Pray also that church leaders in Mexico would fully learn the truths of the Bible and how to apply them to people’s lives.
Drug cartels and other criminal organisations target Christians because they view churches as revenue centres and because churches support programmes for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics. Christians who refuse to pay the cartels have had to close their churches or face attacks - some have even been killed. Pray for healing and courage for Christians and church leaders who have experienced intense violence.
Give thanks that multi-party democracy has brought increasing prosperity to the people of Mexico. Furthermore, the legal protection of religious minorities has helped the advance of the gospel. With new churches being planted, there are now significant teaching, training and literature needs. Pray that these needs will be met, so that this growth may be sustained.
The Christian Academy of the Air is a Spanish-language correspondence course which is operated along the US/Mexico border by the World Radio Network. Quality materials are broadcast to thousands of Mexican students who enjoy studying God's Word in this way. Pray for Hernán and Thelma Meneses as they coordinate this work and ask the Lord to supply more volunteers to assist them.
Population: 119,530,753 (2015)
Official languages: Spanish
GDP (PPP) per capita: $19,480 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 77 years
Religions: 89% Catholic, 6% Protestant, 3% Agnostic or Atheist, 1% Mormon, 1% other religions