The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) general secretary, Setri Nyomi, is calling on all WCRC member churches ― including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ― to pray for the churches in Mexico caught in violence among drug cartels.
Nyomi has just concluded a visit to the three WCRC member churches in Mexico ― the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mexico, and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Mexico.
The General Secretary reports: “Focusing on education, evangelism, and making a difference in Mexican society, these churches are faithfully carrying out God’s mission in often difficult circumstances. The insecurity has led to kidnappings, and the disappearing of people which is very disconcerting for the people and churches of Mexico.”
According to a travel warning from the U.S. Department of State issued in April, 34,612 people have been killed in violence related to narcotics since December 2006, and 15,000 of those occurred in 2010, a two-thirds increase from 2009.
In an article in the March 2011 edition of the Christian Century, Phil Jenks writes from the United States: “How have Christians coped with the horror of living through a virtual civil war? In many instances, clergy and believers have lived up to their ideals. They have behaved heroically, striving to make peace between factions, trying to fulfill social needs in regions where secular government has all but abdicated its power. Individual priests and bishops comfort bereaved families and preach bravely against violence and criminality, at grave risk to their lives. Fearless activism for peace and human rights made Saltillo's legendary bishop José Raúl Vera López a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
The situation in Mexico is very complex, Jenks reports, and churches are struggling to find a way of dealing with its many implications for their ministry.