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‘Traditionalist Catholics’ destroy homes of 5 Mexican evangelical families

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Two families from Mexico’s Tzotzil tribe destroyed the houses of five evangelical Christians on Sunday in the Mitzitón community of southern Mexico, near the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Esdras Alonso González, the director of the Christian ministry Alas de Águila, alerted news sources to the attacks. He said to El Universal that before the attack started, the local community jailed two Christians, Alejandro Jiménez Jiménez and Miguel Jiménez Heredia.

One year ago, local Catholics prevented evangelical Christians from building a church in the area and forced them to leave. When they returned a year later, local people attacked them in another attempt to make them leave.

In many places in Mexico, Catholicism is mixed with local Aztec polytheism. People sacrifice chickens, dogs, alcohol and soda to Jesus and Catholic saints, which they see as different “faces” of Mayan gods. People who observe this religion are called “traditionalist Catholics”.

Unlike Christianity, traditionalist Catholicism relies on giving gifts to the gods in exchange for health, good fortune and protection from evil. Many Tzotzil people practice traditionalist Catholicism.

“Behind the collection of saints and virgins in the San Juan Bautista church are Ah Puch, Chaac, Ixchel, Kukulkán, and the whole pantheon of ancient Mayan gods. They have adapted to their new names and now celebrate new festivities, but their true essences remain,” wrote travel site Matador Network about a Tzotzil traditionalist Catholic church.

The persecution evangelical Christians face among the Tzotzil is religious persecution, said Alonso González. Traditionalist Catholics attack Christians because Christians won’t celebrate Catholic holidays or attend traditionalist Catholic feasts.

After the destruction of their homes, the five evangelical Christian families must wait on the decision of local authorities who will determine when or if they will be allowed to return, he said. The families affected include 30 people.

Christians among the Tzotzil people have faced persecution before, said Alonso González. In 2014, Mexican indigenous activists destroyed 10 houses belonging to Christians because they chopped down trees without the permission of the community assembly. In 2016, Catholic traditionalists destroyed the homes of 350 Christians.

Persecution of Christians in Mexico has risen due to drug cartel violence, persecution by traditionalist Catholics and violent discrimination by anti-Christian left-wing groups, persecution watchdog Open Doors USA reported. Currently, Mexico is 37th on its list of countries that most persecute Christians.

Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry told The Christian Post that the amount of persecution in Mexico has risen in the past year, mainly due to organized crime killing Christians.

“Last year, Mexico was number 52 It’s jumped up a bunch,” he said. “That would most certainly be around the issues of violence and drug cartels.”

Traditionalist Catholics often persecute Mexican Christians, too, he said. In this way, they resemble many small, rural groups of people practicing ancient folk religions around the world. Open Doors calls this kind of persecution “clan violence.”

“These rural indigenous groups see Christian churches as an outside force. They can harass and bother churches and believers who might be in the community,” Curry said. “It’s within these four states in Mexico; Chiapas, Hidalgo, Guerero, Oaxaca. It’s very localized.”

In regions controlled by small clans that practice local religions, native people often get angry when Christians start sharing the Gospel and telling people about Jesus, he said. They don’t like to see churches grow.

To help Christians in these areas, believers around the world can pray and share the news about their problems so local governments will feel pressured to help, he said.

“Pray for the leaders who are there. Pray for safety for people. The response that most people have hearing Mexico is on the world persecution list is ‘how can that be?’” Curry said. “From the most basic level, we need to pray and share these stories so that people know they’re not alone and so that the pressure builds to protect these people.”
Sources:Christian Post

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ഭൂകമ്പം ഫിജിയെ പിടിച്ചുകുലുക്കി, റിക്ടർ സ്കെയിലിൽ 6.0 രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയ ഭൂചലനം

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സുവ: ദ്വീപ് രാജ്യമായ ഫിജിയിൽ ഭൂചലനം. റിക്ടർ സ്‌കെയിലിൽ 6.0 തീവ്രത രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയ ഭൂചലനത്തിൽ നാശനഷ്ടങ്ങൾ ഉണ്ടായതായി റിപ്പോർട്ടില്ല. 398 കിലോമീറ്റർ ആഴത്തിൽ പ്രകമ്പനം അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടതായി യുഎസ് ഭൗമശാസ്ത്ര കേന്ദ്രം അറിയിച്ചു. ലെവൂക്ക നഗരത്തിന് 340 കിലോമീറ്റർ കിഴക്ക് മാറിയായിരുന്നു പ്രകമ്പനം. പ്രാദേശിക സമയം രാവിലെ 11.35 ഓടെയായിരുന്നു ഭൂചലനം അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടത്. സുനാമി മുന്നറിയിപ്പുകളൊന്നും നൽകിയിട്ടില്ലെന്ന് അധികൃതർ അറിയിച്ചു. ഭൂചലനം ഉണ്ടായ വിവരം ജർമ്മൻ ജിയോസയൻസ് റിസർച്ച് സെന്ററും സ്ഥിരീകരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.

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Archaeologists discover rare 2,000-y-o oil lamp in Jerusalem’s City of David on Pilgrimage Road

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The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a rare oil lamp, with its wick still preserved, from under the foundation of a building erected on Jerusalem’s famed Pilgrimage Road soon after the destruction of the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago.

The IAA researchers believe the bronze lamp, shaped like a grotesque face cut in half and estimated to be from the late first century or the early second century CE, was put in the foundation of the building in Jerusalem’s City of David for good fortune, The Times of Israel reported.

“This half of a lamp, and in fact half a face, which was discovered in the City of David, is a very rare object, with only a few discovered in the whole world, and is the first of its kind to be discovered in Jerusalem,” Yuval Baruch of the IAA was quoted as saying.

“It is possible that the importance of the building, and the need to bless its activity with luck by burying a foundation deposit, was due to its proximity to the Siloam Pool, which was also used in the Roman period as the central source of water within the city,” IAA archaeologist Ari Levy told The Jerusalem Post.

Speaking to Haaretz, Levy explained, “Foundation deposits, in general, go back to the dim reaches of antiquity. It was accepted in construction in general, to bring luck and symbolic defense of the building — and to cast fear and awe on attackers. Its significance was highly symbolic, not functional.”

Haaretz said the lamp featured a goaty male half-face complete with (half a) satyr’s beard and a horned forehead.

Only one other such lamp has ever been found in an archaeological context — and that was in Budapest, according to Levy.

Experts believe that Pilgrimage Road, where the building had been erected, is the path ancient Jews walked to reach the Temple Mount three times a year — in the festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

“The street was built during the period of Governor Pontius Pilates,” Levy said. “It was inaugurated around the year 30 CE and it was used for about 40 years until the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.”

Baruch added: “Decorated bronze oil lamps were discovered throughout the Roman Empire. For the most part, such oil lamps stood on stylish candelabras or were hung on a chain. Collections around the world contain thousands of these bronze lamps, many of which were made in intricate shapes, indicating the artistic freedom that Roman metal artists possessed.”
Sources:Christian Post

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