|World Watch List Rank||37|
|World Watch List Score||64/100|
|Leader||President Andres Manuel López Obrador|
|Population||133,870,000 | 128,229,000 Christians|
|WWL Rank in 2020||52|
|Persecution Level||Very High Persecution|
The increasing presence of criminal groups and their struggle for territorial control create an environment where Christians—and particularly Christian leaders—face the constant risk of being targeted for violence. Christians are perceived as a threat to criminal activities because they oppose corruption and drug use. Christians who are outspoken about the hope of Jesus in the face of drug trafficking and violence are often targeted by gangs. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, criminal groups have strengthened their control over parts of Mexico.
In indigenous communities, anyone who decides to abandon the community’s religious beliefs or practices often faces rejection and punishment, including forced displacement. Indigenous communities have strengthened their autonomy during the pandemic leading to increased difficulty for these followers of Jesus.
Mexico shot up the 2021 World Watch List after being outside of the top 50 entirely last year. This is likely due to the rise in illegal activity that directly challenges Christians and Christian teaching. Drug traffickers and gangs retaliate against and target Christian leaders for opposing their criminal activities, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, their control over parts of Mexico has strengthened.
Similarly, indigenous communities that oppose Christian converts have strengthened their autonomy during the coronavirus crisis, leading to increased difficulty for these followers of Jesus. And finally, Mexican society seems to be increasing its commitment to secularism instead of pluralism. Often, Christian viewpoints are not welcome in the public sphere.
The ministry of Open Doors in Mexico works to bring structural change to the persecution situation in Mexico by helping to provide solutions to the spiritual and material needs of persecuted believers. Open Doors also engages and equips the Mexican church to reach out directly to those suffering persecution.