Denis Casco, Bishop, Mexico Conference
Violence, crime, poverty, and immorality, are striking the cities of Mexico without compassion. The dangers we confront go beyond what you see in Chicago gangster movies and those of robbery, death, and corruption in the old American West.
Missionaries and pastors today in Mexico live with pain, frustration, and great insecurity, and they must pay protection money to drug cartels and kidnappers.
Our leaders at churches in Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas) and Michoacán (the central-west region) are in great danger of death, kidnapping, and extreme poverty.
Recently, I was in Ciudad Juarez to see our churches. During that Saturday night, 24 people were assassinated about 400 meters from the United Brethren church where Rev. Carlos Chaves is the senior pastor.
In that shooting one of our members was assassinated. The next week, the niece of Pastor Chaves was abused sexually and killed.
The main entrances to our churches are being watched. Church members are only letting members and well-known people into the church, because they fear that somebody could be assassinated inside.
Ciudad Juarez is the most dangerous city in the world, a city without law. We have an number of United Brethren churches here. Some are closing because our people are terrified.
The people only go out for an emergency. The children do not attend school regularly. It is like a ghost city. The US Department of State warns American citizens not to visit Ciudad Juarez, unless they have something very important to do there.
In the last three years, more than 27,000 people in Mexico have died. Some deaths were related to organized crime, and others were innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are the challenges we face as we work for the Kingdom of God in Mexico.
It is estimated that 50,000 children in Mexico have lost their parents during the past three yeas, having been assassinating by organized crime. The number of orphaned children will increase, as will the amount of youth deliquency, robbery, and drug addiction.
Please pray for us.