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
Main Religion Christianity
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 useChristians 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. 

What changed this year?

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.   

How do we help?

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.   


  • Pray for Christian leaders and their families who risk so much to serve their church communities in places where they are the targets of organized criminals.  
  • Pray for Christians who convert out of their community’s belief system. May God strengthen them and help them to be salt and light to their communities. 
  • Ask God to give Christians compassion and courage as they risk their lives and livelihood to walk in faith.


Why is Mexico on the World Watch List?

21st Apr 2021

Found in Podcast

One of the countries that people often wonder about on the World Watch List is Mexico. In this episode, we'll talk about the persecution that…

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