Sunday, September 18, 2011

Please, Pray For All Christian Outreaches, Everywhere


Government expels 50 Evangelical families due to pressure from the Catholics of Tlanalapan.

‘Before leaving, Pastor Josué Ovando, demonstrated videos that prove the attacks that he received on behalf of the Catholic group and from the Priest González Ascension.’

In the face of pressures and orders from Catholics, against freedom of religion, the Secretary General of the State Government of Puebla, caved-in to traditionalists from the community of San Rafael, Tlanalapan, where 50 Christian Evangelical families were expelled from the town. This past Wednesday the Catholics, faithful to the local Priest Ascension Benítez González, threatened to crucify them and lynch them if they had not left before, today, Monday.

Apparently the Catholic hierarchy should have agreed to retire the Parish Priest Benítez Ascension, being that he has been the author of at least three related incidents of religious intolerance, in the last decade.

The only few Evangelical Christians which were allowed to stay in Tlanalapan, were originally from this community, and they have been told that they should carry out their religious services in other neighboring communities.

The conflict of religious intolerance happened after about 200 Catholics of Tlanalapan met last Wednesday night outside of the Chapel of San Isidro Labrador, summoned by the town's Priest, in order to expel about 70 Christians that do not share the town’s beliefs and they told them to abandon the community before Monday.

The fixed exit time was set at 6 P.M. on Sunday, and according to the Catholics, it was like a term limit, after which they planned to expel the Christians from the town by force. It was hoped that everyone could come to an agreement with the auxiliary authorities and the Secretary General of the Government in order to solve the serious conflict of religious intolerance. Finally the Government Delegate of the VII District, Roberto Solano Pineda, informed that the agreement taken with the local authority is that the non-native evangelicals would have to leave Tlanalapan, because, "The state government doesn't guarantee them their security."

In the face of what was presumed to happen, this past Saturday the Pastor and other families left with luggage and some of their personal property. The Pastor was accused of wanting, "To conquer more followers for his religion."

"The best thing that the Evangelical Christians can do is to leave, because we could not guarantee their security, and we don't want a reoccurrence of what happened 18 years ago, when the same Priest Ascension incited the Catholic group to violently expel a complete family, including children, and to burn their house, just for the fact that they were professing another religion," a local official asserted.

Meanwhile, in the 8 AM. mass this past Sunday, the most important of the town, the Parish Priest Benítez Ascension said to the parishioners: "If you want to continue in the fight against Christianity, it's your problem, because I quit, but know that I agree with the town’s people." This declaration contradicted the posture of the Priest in front of the state authorities, last Thursday when he denied being the main agitator that had expelled the Evangelicals from Tlanalapan.


Before their exit from the town, Evangelical Pastor Josué Ovando Jiménez showed videos as proof of the attacks that he received on the part of the Catholic group and from the Priest Ascension González Solís, he did so during the meeting that was visited by personnel from the Secretary General of the Government.

It is necessary to highlight that not the whole town of Tlanalapan is against the Evangelical Christians. But they are all afraid. The few neighbors that consented to talk about the topic lamented that neither the auxiliary authority nor the State Government has been able to control the priest, who, they assured, has political support, receives many luxuries and gets lots of money from the town.


Last Friday the Archdioceses of Puebla rejected the idea that it encouraged the religious intolerance in the society, and denied that the Priest Ascension Benítez González directed the threats that the Catholics uttered against evangelicals in the community of San Rafael Tlanalapan, "Because freedom of worship is a fundamental right," but stated that the dialogue should continue in order to avoid confrontations.

But, in practice, it was said that, "The Catholic Church in Puebla should make an attentive call to all involved in this case, inviting them to maintain open dialogue as a way to solve the differences, observe the state rights and safeguard the whole process and the security of the people, independently of the religious creed that they profess."

In a release the Catholic priest was asked to not utter any form of threat.

Sources: The Digital Protestant Journal 2011, group/emausvea

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