A group of people destroyed five houses belonging to evangelical families in the Mitzitón community, in the municipality of San Cristóbal, Chiapas (Mexico).
The leader of the evangelical organization Alas de Aguila, Esdras Alonso González, reported that the events took place on Sunday, January 10, carried out by Catholic fundamentalists. Two evangelical ‘Tzotzil’ (Indigenous) families were affected.
Before the houses were destroyed, the Catholics imprisoned two evangelicals, Alejandro Jiménez Jiménez and Miguel Jiménez Heredia.
The attacks allegedly happened because the evangelical families refused to participate in activities of the Catholic festivities. However, some contest that issues are surrounding land claims and use, and are not religious.
The five families, a total of 30 people, had to comply with the decision of the authorities. But days after returning to their village, three families had to leave their homes for a second time, González pointed out.
González said that in the neighbouring community of Napité, also in the municipality of San Cristóbal, traditionalist Catholics prevented evangelicals from building a church. They had returned to the community on December 15, after being uprooted for around one year.
This is not the first religious freedom incident of this kind in the area. The most serious happened in May 2016, when traditionalist Catholics looted and partially destroyed 84 houses, the homes of 350 evangelical Tzotziles, a group that was forced to leave the Mitzitón community.
With files from Evangelical Focus and El Universal