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Huichol assailants ransacked this house and stole the doors, windows, and roof. Inset: Members of the Huichol Congregation driven from their homes.

FEBRUARY 6, 2018

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Jalisco, Mexico, Forced From Their Homes in Huichol Community

MEXICO CITY—On December 4, 2017, a mob in Tuxpan de Bolaños, a small town located in the mountains of Jalisco, Mexico, attacked 12 of our brothers of the indigenous Huichol community and another 36 people who associate with them, banishing them from their homes. The assailants were angered that the Witnesses would not participate in traditional Huichol religious rites. As victims of religious persecution, our brothers have appealed to the legal authorities for relief.

Our brothers’ possessions were either stolen or thrown outside.

Mexican national authorities respect Huichol traditions and culture to the extent of granting this society a certain degree of autonomy. At the request of the traditional Huichol government, enforcers violently removed our brothers from their homes, which they subsequently ransacked, stealing doors, windows, and roofs. Any items that were not stolen were thrown into a ditch. The brothers were then taken to a forest and told that they would be killed if they attempted to return.

Huichol Jehovah’s Witnesses outside a Kingdom Hall.

A representative from the branch office in Mexico traveled to meet those displaced to give spiritual support and to arrange for housing. Legal representatives for Jehovah’s Witnesses met with the director of the Jalisco government, the human rights prosecutor, the regional prosecutor, and the director of attention for crime victims. These legal authorities are now investigating these crimes.

Brother Gamaliel Camarillo, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mexico, explains: “We are truly appalled that our fellow worshippers, who live peacefully in their community and respect local customs, have been attacked simply because they will not participate in religious rites that offend their conscience. It is hoped that the local authorities will swiftly address this religiously driven persecution.”

We pray for our brothers who have lost their homes and belongings, and we are confident that Jehovah will continue to provide the needed assistance through his organization.—Isaiah 32:2.

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000

Mexico: Gamaliel Camarillo, +52-555-133-3048