Local authorities in the state of Hidalgo “prohibit the entry of Protestants”. Those who refuse to fund Catholic festivities are threatened with big fines and water cuts.
Neighbors from several indigenous communities in the municipalities of Tlanchinol, Huejutla and Huazalingo, all located in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico, denounced that they have suffered extortion, unjustified fines, prohibition of entry to towns and others sanctions by the authorities, who also force them to participate in Catholic holidays, just because they are evangelicals.
The minutes of the Assembly of the town of Cuamontax, in the municipality of Huazalingo, dated February of this year, “prohibit the entry of Protestants. Those who do not comply with these provisions will be arrested, and they will be financially sanctioned as determined by the Assembly”.
The document was agreed by the neighbors, who are mostly Catholics.
Uriel Badillo Lara, an evangelical neighbor of Cuamontax, clarified that the prohibition is for pastors or members of evangelical churches of other villages, who want to carry out faith activities in the town.
Badillo explained that for 21 years, the Assembly determined to force evangelicals to pay dues for Catholic holidays and they are even forced to participate, under the threat of imposing exorbitant fines or cutting off public services.
FORCED TO PARTICIPATE IN CATHOLIC FESTIVALS
Enrique García, another resident of Cuamontax, denounced that last week he was given 72 hours to sign a document in which he undertakes to continue participating in religious festivals and to give money for them. If he fails to do so, they threaten to expel him along with his family.
In La Mesa Limantitla, in the municipality of Huejutla, another neighbor revealed that the community authorities cut off the water of his and another family houses on July 10, because they did not want to ring the bell of the local Catholic church.
AUTHORITIES MUST GURANTEE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Alfonso Farrera González, President of Christian Lawyers and legal representative of the victims, held a press conference, accompanied by families and evangelical pastors, where he requested the intervention of state authorities, arguing that the right to worship and the religious freedom has been violated.
Furthermore, Farrera revealed that an individual who falsely pretends to be an official of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, has swindle evangelicals, asking them for money to help them resolve this situation, as well as to protocolize their religious associations.