Seguir los mandatos b√≠blicos acarrea un alto precio para los l√≠deres religiosos en M√©xico

Un líder religioso y su colega son secuestrados de un refugio para inmigrantes; no se los ha vuelto a ver ni se ha sabido de ellos desde entonces. Otro es agredido, extorsionado y amenazado a punta de pistola. Ambos brindaron protección a inmigrantes y solicitantes de asilo que se encontraban atrapados en la frontera. En el mismo país, los líderes religiosos advierten que las amenazas y los ataques contra ellos constituyen uno de los problemas más graves que enfrentan las iglesias en la actualidad. Irónicamente, todo esto está ocurriendo en lo que se considera uno de los países más religiosos del mundo, México.

El deterioro de la situaci√≥n para los inmigrantes y solicitantes de asilo que pasan por M√©xico se ha visto exacerbado por la implementaci√≥n del Protocolo de Protecci√≥n al Migrante (MPP) de los Estados Unidos, tambi√©n conocido como “Permanecer en M√©xico” a principios de 2019. [1] La pol√≠tica ha dificultado cada vez m√°s que los inmigrantes ganen casos de asilo en los EE.UU., s√≥lo el 0.1% de los casos han tenido √©xito y muchos han buscado asilo en refugios para inmigrantes administrados por la iglesia en todo M√©xico mientras esperan, especialmente en la frontera norte. El 28 de febrero de 2020, un tribunal de apelaciones federal de EE.UU. dictamin√≥ que la pol√≠tica de ‚ÄúPermanecer en M√©xico‚ÄĚ era ilegal.

Si bien muchos líderes protestantes y católicos han respondido a los crecientes niveles de necesidad en una manifestación de su fe siguiendo los mandatos de ayudar a los pobres, [2] albergar a los desamparados [3] y amar al extranjero [4], su trabajo los deja cada vez más expuestos a amenazas y ataques de grupos delictivos organizados que se aprovechan de la población migrante vulnerable.

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Voices from Cuba: Alain Toledano Valiente

Apostle Alain Toledano Valiente is a prominent leader in the Apostolic Movement in Cuba. He also leads Emanuel Church in Santiago de Cuba along with his wife, Marilín Alayo Correa. Pastor Toledano and his wife have experienced intense harassment at the hands of the Cuban authorities for over two decades.

In February 2016, over 200 church leaders in Pastor Toledano’s denomination were detained as the authorities demolished the Emanuel Church building. Pastor Toledano was out of the country at the time. Since then he has been prevented from leaving Cuba, subjected to repeated police summons, and threatened with imprisonment on multiple occasions.

In recent months, Pastor Toledano and his family have continued to experience severe harassment, even in spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown measures.

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Voces de Cuba: Alain Toledano Valiente

El apóstol Alain Toledano Valiente es un líder prominente en el Movimiento Apostólico en Cuba. También pastorea la Iglesia Emanuel en Santiago de Cuba con su esposa, Marilín Alayo Correa. Por más de dos décadas, han experimentado hostigamiento por parte de las autoridades cubanas.

En febrero del 2016, más de 200 líderes perteneciente a la denominación del Pastor Toledano fueron detenidos mientras las autoridades demolieron el edificio de la Iglesia Emanuel. El Pastor Toledano estaba fuera del país cuando la demolición ocurrió. Desde entonces ha sido frecuentemente impedido de viajar del país, sujetado a citaciones repetidas de la policía, y amenazado con el encarcelamiento en varias ocasiones.

En recientes meses, el Pastor Toledano y su familia ha continuado a experimentar acoso severo, a pesar de la pandemia COVID-19 y sus medidas relacionadas con el confinamiento.‚ÄĚ

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Following Biblical mandates carries a high price for religious leaders in Mexico

A religious leader and his colleague are kidnapped from a migrant shelter; they have not been seen or heard from since. Another is assaulted, extorted and threatened at gunpoint. Both provided protection to migrants and asylum seekers trapped on the border. In the same country, religious leaders warn that threats and attacks against them constitute one of the most serious problems facing churches today. Ironically, all this is taking place in what is considered to be one of the most religious countries in the world, Mexico.

The worsening situation for migrants and asylum seekers passing through Mexico has been exacerbated by the implementation of the US‚Äô Migrant Protection Program (MPP) also known as ‚ÄėRemain in Mexico‚Äô at the start of 2019.[1] The policy has made it increasingly difficult for migrants to win asylum cases in the US, only 0.1% of cases have been successful, and many have sought refuge in church-run migrant shelters across Mexico while they wait, especially at the northern border. On 28 February 2020, a US federal appeals court ruled that that the Remain in Mexico policy was illegal.

While many Protestant and Catholic leaders have responded to the rising levels of need in an outworking of their faith by following commands to help the poor,[2] shelter the homeless,[3] and love the foreigner,[4] their work makes them increasingly exposed to threats and attacks from organised criminal groups who prey on the vulnerable migrant population.

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FoRB on the Frontlines: ‚ÄúEveryone‚Äôs hatred was ever present‚ÄĚ

In several Latin American countries, religious leaders often take on the roles of community leader and human rights defender. As a result, these leaders often face harassment, intimidation and even violence at the hands of state and non-state actors. Over the past few weeks CSW has been presenting interviews with religious leaders working in the region to highlight their experiences on the frontlines of freedom of religion or belief.

Yilber is a Protestant pastor based in Cuba.

“I have received so many threats in my life as a Christian that there are, honestly, too many to count. This is something I want to describe, and to do this I won’t rely on generalisations or abstract, subjective examples, I will expose the scars borne by my family ever since we left our town to do pastoral work.

Continue reading “FoRB on the Frontlines: ‚ÄúEveryone‚Äôs hatred was ever present‚ÄĚ”