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Author Topic: Religious Tensions hit Mexico  (Read 2361 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mexican
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« on: August 13, 2005, 04:25:59 AM »

RELIGIOUS TENSIONS HIT MEXICO

Ciudad Altamirano, Gro.
July 27th 2005
Jane Crowe
Gospel Today

Yesterday wasn't a good day for Rev. Marcos Sanchez, pastor of Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ciudad Altamirano, Mexico. Early in the morning he announced to a dissapointed congregation his decission to suspend the yearly religious event he had scheduled.

"I don't understand what's happening here, it's very unfair, we'd received permision to use the hall three months ago, and now they say we can't use it", said the pastor. According to him, local authorities acted under pressure by a group of angry Catholics and their priests, who accuse the Adventists of proselitsm.

"Last week they came to our church shouting that in Mexico we couldn't do anything outside our temples. I told the priest that we had permission to hold our programme and that it was not our wish to bother anyone, but they kept saying they wouldn't allow us. They were very rude and the government is too weak. When we complained, the officer said they canceled for our protection because in case there was a problem with the Catholics, the police would be unwilling to help us".

This is not an isolated case in Mexico, where Protestants and other religious minorities are often subjected to harassment by the Catholic Church and obstruction from local authorities, just as last week, when Catholic priests prevented the opening of an Pentecostal Church in Ocoyoacac (State of Mexico).

According to Rev. Sanchez, chauvinism plays an important role: "when the Catholics give food to the poor or help the sick in hospitals they're doing social labour but when we do the same, we're proselitizing" complained the pastor who's now seeking help from Human Rights Groups.

At another incident involving indigenous communities in Chiapas, the press reported that Muslims were denied burial at local cemetaries...

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 08:20:35 AM »

Señor, ten piedad...

This is the uncomfortable line that folks have to walk when (#1) they are the religious majority in a country and feel the spiritual need to protect the more easily influenced members of their faith by suppressing heretical views, and (#2) they are living in a secular, pluralistic society which demands separation of Church and State and demands that the government not (officially) uphold one, state religion.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2005, 01:04:44 PM »

Well, I know what these groups are doing to families in Mexico.  One of my co-worker's grandmothers became a member of one of these Saturday pseudo-Christian groups.  Now she has divorced herself from the family unless she wants to tell someone they will go to hell if they don't join her sect.

These people have no scruples.  They aren't there to save the lost, they're there to gain power.  The Latins have power and that's who they've targeted.

Quick question:  There are Orthodox groups there as well.  Have they been denied anything?  Has the Latin church lashed out at our efforts to help the poor and to build orphanages?

I haven't heard of that yet, although I'm sure someone would let us know. 
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2005, 02:01:51 PM »

Quick question:  There are Orthodox groups there as well.  Have they been denied anything?  Has the Latin church lashed out at our efforts to help the poor and to build orphanages?

I haven't heard of that yet, although I'm sure someone would let us know. 

I've heard that Orthodox Clergy ARE in fact persecuted - maybe not to the degree that others (Prots) are though.  Don't have anything first hand though.
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SeanMc
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2005, 02:12:07 PM »

And the Orthodox do the same in Russia and Greece, I don't see the difference. (Don't forget Metropolitan Atanase in Georgia, I don't know if he's been removed or not).

"Freedom of Religion" is an American principle, not an universal one.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2005, 02:24:43 PM by SeanMc » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2005, 09:20:23 PM »

Quote
"Freedom of Religion" is an American principle, not an universal one.

So are you arguing that we shouldn't have it because it's American, or are you saying that this American principle, while a very good one, is unfortunately not recognized in many cultures?
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 10:38:34 PM »

Quote
So are you arguing that we shouldn't have it because it's American, or are you saying that this American principle, while a very good one, is unfortunately not recognized in many cultures?

The latter.
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Mexican
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 03:36:56 AM »

Cizinec:
These people have no scruples.  They aren't there to save the lost, they're there to gain power.


I think that the Roman Church needs more priests than the one of the news.

Cizinec is right about the sects, I can't stand them either. The first one who brought the Protestant sects here was the massonic "hero" Benito Juarez, he knew it was an important step to gradualy disolve national and regional identity, an obstacle to a probable integration with the United States.

Let's not forget that ressistance against the American occupation was much stronger in places where religion played an important role (New Mexico for example) than those where the Roman Church was weak (Yucatan, Texas).

Cizinec:
There are Orthodox groups there as well.  Have they been denied anything?  Has the Latin church lashed out at our efforts to help the poor and to build orphanages?


There is an Orthodox-supported orphanage called St. Innocent in Tijuana and I don't think they've been denied anything (Orthodox presence in Mexico is quite reduced though). The children there are not converted by force, Catholic priests are even invited to celebrate masses sometimes..

The thing here is that at Orthodox or Roman Catholic orphanages or shelters, etc. you might have crucifixes or religious images (or services inside) but the activities there are normal, priests may ask for support sometimes but representing their charitable cause.

On the other side, Protestant shelters or orphanages are full of propaganda, children and workers are made militant members of the sect, and it gives the appereance that getting funds for the organization is just an excuse to get new members and supporters for the sect. (You get "invited" to reunions, services, and so on.)

Elisha:
I've heard that Orthodox Clergy ARE in fact persecuted - maybe not to the degree that others (Prots) are though.  Don't have anything first hand though.


Orthodox presence is still reduced here, Orthodoxy is perceived to be a kind of Catholicism so there is no antipathy toward the Orthodox in general.

However, I do remember one "incident", it happened in Pisaflores (a rural area in Veracruz), where the Exarchate's mission is located. When the RC Bishop heard the mission was getting strong he sent a priest (after lots of years of neglection) who was hostile toward the Orthodox population thiking that they were a kind of Protestant religion-

The problem was solved though.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2005, 03:49:31 AM by Mexican » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2005, 09:59:20 AM »

An interesting thread.
To add a little here, back in 1962 I visited Mexico for the first time on a family vacation. Basically (I was 12) we drove down the central portion of the country from Brownsville to Mexico City where we set up a 'home base' at a hotel and then spent two weeks on various day trips to the surrounding area - to Puebla, Tenotchitlan, etc. One Sunday we finally located the Greek Orthodox Church and attended Divine Liturgy. After the service we met the Greek ambassador and enjoyed luncheon at his home along with the papas (an Antiochian convert from RCC).
The ambassador related the difficulty they had in even getting a temple to start with. After years of trying they were finally given permssion to have ONE church, provided it did not even look like a church from the exterior. Indeed that was the case. The church had to have a plain retail storefront W/O signage, not even a cross. The parishoners could well afford at proper church from the looks of the interior of the temple, but the locals would not allow that.
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 06:43:55 AM »

Don't you Orthodox go accusing the Catholic Church for being unfair towards religious minorities. I am a Roman Catholic
in Greece and I know what it is to be treated unfairly by the Orthodox church, the state, the school and the Orthodox parishes sorrounding our Catholic parish. I attend a greek high school and I know how it feels to be beaten up unless you say stuff like "Long live the Ecumenical Patriarch" and be accused for the sack of Istanbul by the Turks. So, kindly I say:

BUGGER OFF!
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 07:12:45 AM »

Don't you Orthodox go accusing the Catholic Church for being unfair towards religious minorities. I am a Roman Catholic
in Greece and I know what it is to be treated unfairly by the Orthodox church, the state, the school and the Orthodox parishes sorrounding our Catholic parish. I attend a greek high school and I know how it feels to be beaten up unless you say stuff like "Long live the Ecumenical Patriarch" and be accused for the sack of Istanbul by the Turks. So, kindly I say:

BUGGER OFF!

I think you're a little confused (or those who are accusing you are). Nobody blames the Roman Catholic Church for the sack of Constantinople by the Turks - at least not that I've heard of and it would be extremely strange to do so - but for the sack of Constantinople by the Roman Catholic armies of the 4th Crusade. I don't believe blaming modern RCs for past attrocities is justifiable, just trying to point out that the two events are distinct and different. I'd also like to point out that, whilst your current situation is indefensible, historically it is almost certainly the case that more Orthodox have been more harshly treated by Roman Catholics than vice versa.

James
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 10:49:04 PM »

Dear Αριστοκλής

At that time (1962) the communist law placed several restrictions on religious cults. The Roman Catholic Church, Judaism, the main Protestant churches (specialy those that belonged to American or British citizens) and the small Orthodox communities were tolerated but there were several restrictions such as:

- religious processions were restricted
- ministers of cult weren't allowed citizen rights
- their number was limited by the states
- religious communities had no legal recognition

Another problem is that religious communities could not be sujceted or loyal to institutions or persons located outside Mexico. The RC's tides with the Vatican could be spiritual only, in theory the Pope had no authority over the Mexican Church and the same applied to the other communities.

The situation was very similar to that in Russia. Even the RC which had advantage over the other faiths they faced similar trouble (this is the reason why there are many Roman churches in Mexico built after the 1960's do not look like churches at all and look like secular assembly places).

After 1976 many of these restrictions were partialy removed (at that time the Exarchate of Mexico monastic community was founded, the Antiochian set up a pre-seminary).

The Greek Orthodox Church problem is that their Church is located in Naucalpan, you have to cross all Mexico City to attend services, and after Bishop Paul's murder in 1984 the new person in charge in fact dismantled the Orthodox community there. The church is now attended (mostly) by Orthodox Latinamerican inmigrants who are not Mexicans, and most of the faithful now go to other churches.

Bishop Paul de Ballester tried to reach families of Greek descent who had come to Mexico and lost their Orthodox roots so that they could know that they could return to the Church, but now this has not been done. Many Mexican people of Greek descent are now RC-.

The strenght now is in the OCA Exarchate with active missions and active presence. The other churches are recognized as foreign churches while the Orthodox Church is a National Church like the Roman Catholic.






« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 11:04:34 PM by Mexican » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 12:53:20 AM »

Don't you Orthodox go accusing the Catholic Church for being unfair towards religious minorities. I am a Roman Catholic
in Greece and I know what it is to be treated unfairly by the Orthodox church, the state, the school and the Orthodox parishes sorrounding our Catholic parish. I attend a greek high school and I know how it feels to be beaten up unless you say stuff like "Long live the Ecumenical Patriarch" and be accused for the sack of Istanbul by the Turks. So, kindly I say:

BUGGER OFF!


Umm...Armando, you were once Orthodox correct? Baptised as a child? Well have you heard of St. Peter the Aleut? Well, since I'm Canadian, I'm kinda familiar with his story.
Anyways, he was a native Inuit from Kodiak Island, a fur hunter, and was baptised by the local Russian Orthodox missionaries. Bak then Spain had control of California and many russian and aleut slaves were captured who traded there. They were tortured by Spanish Catholic priests who tryed to force them to accept the Roman Catholic Faith. An eye witness account tells how the priest ordered St. Peter's fingers to be cut off one joint at a time and then that he be disemboweled.

As you know, when the Patriarch of Constantinopole asked for help from the West, what did the Catholics do? They came, raided the city, put a harlot on the seat of the episkopos, ripped down the iconostasis, and this attack o nthe city eventually had its toll which also helped to bring down the city so that it would be so weak that the turks years later would be able to surpass the city's "impregnable walls".

What about the thousands upon thousands of innocents who were tortured by the Holy Roman Inquisition? The Spanish Inquisition? For being "witches"?

You're telling us to bugger off... Ela tora buddy. This website is called "Orthodox Christianity.net". If anyone should bugger off, it shouldn't be us.

Oh yeah, and for the record most Catholics I've talked to in my school thought "Orthodox" was either Jewish, Islamic-styled Protestantism (huh?), or pseudo- Christian Bhuddist philosophy.

One of yout Catholic saints whom I really respect recently canonized (Padre Pio) was also quite 'orthodox' in his beliefs. He was against liturgical bogus reform known as "Novus Ordo" and he stuck to the faith. I can easily compare him to the monks on Mt. Athos for his deep spiritual understanding and depth of prayer-life he had.

God bless,
               Timos
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 03:24:35 AM »

Timos:
What about the thousands upon thousands of innocents who were tortured by the Holy Roman Inquisition? The Spanish Inquisition? For being "witches"?


"Thousands of inocents" is a gross exageration, most of what is said of the Inquisition is nothing but British and Protestant lies:

1. The Holy Roman Inquisition and the Spanish Inquisition are two very different things.

2. The Papal Inquisition was in charge of watching the orthodoxy of the Roman Catholic clergy and its role toward the rest of the people was very limited. Its sanctions were mostly ecclesiastical (suspension, excommunication) and only the dangerous heretics who gravely incited to rebeliion were turned over to the secular authorities.

3. The Spanish Inquisition was a political, secular tribunal whose existence was more than justified. Thousands of Jews and Muslims had falsely converted to Christianity, apostates who reached high possitions in the State and the hierarchy, conspiring to overthrow the Christian Kingdom and create their own kingdom of usury and treachery.

4. The Spanish Inquisition had strict legalistic procedures and torture was rarely used. Again, only dangerous traitors engaged in conspiracy were killed (no doubt that there were inocent among them but the cases were not thousands). Most priests were reluctant to use torture and only mild forms were used.

5. The famous case of the Carvajal family in Mexico was indeed sad but the prosecution of this family and other people actualy prevented a worse thing (pogroms and with-hunts). The two main pogroms in Mexico City (1634 and 1645) were strongly condemned by the Roman Archbishop.

6. What can the Protestants say about their own "religion"? Luther and company created a dictatorship of anarchy and terror in Europe, the heresiarch Calvin himself killed and burned some of his companions such as Mihai Servetul for heresy (what "authority did he have to do so?"). Puritans executed witches in the United States, Mormons held wars against disidents. In Scandinavia the protestant religion was imposed with brutal violence. Almost no one wanted to follow their heretical sect.

I'm not an admirer of the Roman Church and its recent Popes but most of what people (even some renowned Orthodox scholars have joined them unfortunately) say about the Roman Church is inspired by "free-thinkers", freemasons and protestants whose only wish is to divide Christians. The evils of Islam and protestantism would not exist if we had all remained together.

Timos:
They were tortured by Spanish Catholic priests who tryed to force them to accept the Roman Catholic Faith. An eye witness account tells how the priest ordered St. Peter's fingers to be cut off one joint at a time and then that he be disemboweled.


Even though I am obedient to what the Church teaches, I am uncertain of these facts. The narratives of Peter's martyrdom are inconsistent for many reasons:

- There were no Franciscans in the Upper California at that time
- The Roman Church had been deprived by the King of Spain to participate in any judicial procedure or impose penalties to the secular people.
- Under Spanish and then Mexican rule, foreign elements (like the Russians or the Americans) were only required to convert in case they wanted to stay as citizens. Those who were traders or runaways were expelled but never converted by force.

(There were hunderds of Calvinist English-speaking "mojados" crossing our borders at the beggining of the 1800's. Why don't we have narratives, facts and tales of Protestant Americans or Canadians being converted by force and martyred for their faith as many of these traders were caught?)

Moreover, those Russians who stayed in Nutka and the Upper California had a friendly relationship with the Spaniards. Spanish Catholics never considered Russians to be heretics.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 03:44:24 AM by Mexican » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 08:27:19 AM »

I read this thread and recognised the signs and symptons of restriction of 'religious groups' given in various posts. The Russians do appear to have a double standard, viz their attitude to Roman Catholic activity in the Russian Federation and their declared intention expressed to the Irish Government of building churches within the Irish Republic.

However, I blanched when reading on an Orthodox Chrisitan website the response to one poster of "b*gger off". Is this a Christian response or one more appropriate to a worldly one, and a vulgar one at that?

The views of sectarians and others may trouble us but this type of reaction is found where in the writings of the Fathers when responding to schismatics, heretics or unbelievers? Nowhere!
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 08:34:19 AM »

Living in a religius majority group as a religious minority group. Hmmm. Who ever said it was going to be easy being a Christian? Your always going to get stuff like this when you live as a minority group in a larger group. Look at Australia, Aboriginals have been the victims of racism, abuse even 'reverse racism' by the government. All this tries to suppress and persecute those who do not have a voice. Yes we should confess that we do allow nationalism and philetism to downplay our Christian values.

Isn't Christianity about Love for your enemies? Love for those who persecute you? Turning the cheek? The World despises Christ and ever worldly institution is the enemy of Christ. Every worldly ideology is Anti-God and Anti-Christian. Christ alone is the way the truth and the life.
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2005, 09:32:39 AM »

Mexican, thanks for clearing up my misconceptions of the Roman and spanish Inquisitions. I actually beleived that these groups created terror and killed millions of people for falsely deviating from Catholicism.
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2005, 07:30:32 AM »

I get upset when catholics point at Russia for having double standards. The Catholic Church has created the Unia in order to infiltrate the borders of Russia. St Peter the Great had already granted the Roman catholic Church the freedom to practice in Russia, but on the condition that they did not try and proselytise the Orthodox flock and try to convert them to their jurisdictions. Read your history books. It was the Eastern rite Catholics who were causing the problem and remain the problem. They don't belong in Russia.

It's like having Orthodox Bishops and Priests dressed like Roman Catholic clergy in Spain, Italy, South America etc, places which are known to be Catholic and then trying to trick people to join and inter-marry etc.
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2005, 07:41:51 AM »

Timos,

I don't suppose you'd like to share with us the source of your figures of "millions of people for falsely deviating from Catholicism"?

Kosmas,

St. Peter the Great?  I thought he destroyed church property and abolished the Moscow patriarchate in order to install a Lutheran-like governing structure.
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2005, 11:17:58 AM »

I think that since God Himself allows us to believe whatever we want to without physical force, then we shouldn't physically force people to believe what we want them to either.

Or are we above God and his plans for humanity? This is my biggest problem with religious persecution, people put themselves in a position they do not belong. This was also Lucifer's greatest downfall as well (putting himself up into a position that didn't belong to him -- God's position), and as history has shown, the consequences of this sin last for thousands of years. People still talk about the RC Crusades like they happened yesterday.
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2005, 04:16:52 PM »

Yes, I've said the same thing about free will.  Some of the "monarchists" on this site don't particularly like that idea.  I guess God gave us a free will so that it can be quashed by the state.
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