By Walid Shoebat
While it is good news to learn that a Franciscan priest Father Dhiya Aziz, serving in northern Syria in Idlib has been released by jihadi kidnappers, the phenomenon of abducting pastors and even killing them is becoming a common occurrence, not just by Jihadists in Syria and Iraq, but next door to the U.S. in Mexico.
On Dec. 21, last year, four armed men barged into a Catholic seminary in the central Mexican city of Altamirano and kidnapped a Catholic pastor named Gregorio López Gorostieta. The problem for pastors is that they are the refuge for the poor in the face of criminal abuses by all sorts of government and corrupt movements.
Altamirano is the same part of Mexico where police arrested 43 student protesters and turned them over to a drug gang that killed them all and burned their bodies until they could no longer be identified. What was eye-opening also, was that another priest from Uganda, Father John Ssenyondo has been missing in Mexico since May, when he was abducted after refusing to baptize the daughter of local gangster. The strange thing is that his remains were found in a mass grave of the same 43 college student protesters.
While Mexico is marked with government corruption and drug cartels, in the U.S., with the rise of homosexual rights, the tables is slowly turning on Christians and mostly Evangelical pastors and Christian bakers who are being targeted by the gay agenda.
On Christmas Eve, in response to the abduction of Fr. Gregorio López Gorostieta, dozens of priests, infuriated by the abductions, marched through the middle of Altamirano dressed in cassocks despite that cassocks have been banned in the streets of Mexico since the days of the revolution. Hundreds of parishioners trailed behind them. They called for peace, reconciliation, and the safe return of Father Gregorio. And the Diocese of Altamirano made a direct appeal to his captors:
“We fear for his physical safety and we believe there is nobility and kindness in you… If you have conditions for his release, make them known…. Let your hearts be touched and recall the services that we have performed for your families.”
So what was the response to the demonstrating priests? On Christmas Day, Father Gregorio’s body was found on the side of the highway out of town.
Father Gregorio is at least the third priest who was murdered in the region of Tierra Caliente alone.
There are many cases in other regions. Father Habacuc Hernández Benítez was shot to death in 2009, along with two of his seminary students, while driving on the road to Arcelia. Father Joel Román Salazar died in a car crash in 2013; his death was ruled an accident, but the suspicion of foul play persists. Three months ago, on Sept. 22, the body of Father Ascensión Acuña Osorio was found floating in the shallows of the Rio Balsas, not far from his parish in San Miguel Totolapan. Father Ascensión had earlier been reported kidnapped, and he was murdered even after a ransom was paid to his captors. His body showed signs of torture and one eyewitness recalled seeing knife slashes across the priest’s face.
Priests who are kidnapped are usually not counted as “killed” or “dead”, unless there is a body. Those kidnapped and not found, are not recorded on a drug war casualty list. The recovered bodies of priests depict odious, barbaric torture and killing. Decapitation, dismemberment, incineration, strangulation, drowning, torture and rape are the methods used against priests in additional to the “conventional” killing methods of gunshot, or stabbings.
Throughout Mexico Catholic Priests create a safe haven for migrants and operate 95% of migrant shelters providing assistance, medical care and other forms of care. They are the greatest advocacy group, in and out of Mexico. Cartels consider this an intrusion into their source of revenue. Priests who run the migrant shelters such as Casa Migrante’s are constantly being threatened.
The phenomenon is always repeated throughout history. The anti-Christian side asks for appeasement claims all it wants is simple tolerance for certain practices and behaviors. In Mexico its drugs and in the U.S. its the gay agenda. The social pressure and arm twisting begins as moderates end up trusting that the other side can keep agreements. This is never the case. In the U.S., most believe that the gay agenda only wants approvals for being accepted. Reality is that laws are being extended to force Christians to renege on their faith. In Mexico, the government thought that it could contain the problem of drugs by legalizing it and now the Mexican federal government is realizing that the war is on Christianity. The federal government declared a Special Security Operation for Tierra Caliente in the wake of the Iguala atrocity.
When Donald Trump led the way to expose the situation in Mexico and the borders, he was ridiculed. The leftist leaning government of the U.S. is not exposing its own Mexican style ‘ISIS’ problem next door. In Mexico, it is like in Islam, if one leaves the religion, they are executed. Likewise in Mexico, even the alcohol and drug rehab centers are attacked by cartels for repenting, resulting in the mass killing in drug rehab centers.
Padre Goyo, is arguably the most outspoken priest in Mexico today. Of the 7 Apatzingán Michoacán priests whose life have been threaten in 2014, he tops the list of most reviled by organized crime, and corrupt government, both municipal, state and federal. In 2014, Goyo’s brother, “Luis Jerónimo”, was kidnapped by the Caballeros Templarios. Luis Jerónimo, 39, was released after a few days of captivity and then decided to leave Mexico and appeared before the immigration authorities at the border crossing of San Ysidro, California to seek asylum. However, what happened to Luis should be an example of what Trump speaks about the “good Mexican people” vs. the bad whom the U.S. city of refuge system do give safe haven to. Instead of allowing Luis to enter as a persecuted immigrant, he was sent to a detention center, where he remained for nearly a year without being granted bail and exposed to immediate deportation.
In the last months of 2013, at least 5 priests were taken and all presumed dead in southern Tamaulipas. Carlos Ornelas Puga was kidnapped on November while priests Hipólito Villalobos Lima and Nicolas de la Cruz Martinez were executed in the parish of San Cristóbal de Ixhuatlán de Madero, Veracruz. In December two additional priests vanished in Tamaulipas.
Even the elderly nuns are persecuted. Two weeks ago, on June 29th, the bishop and the priests of the diocese of Tehuantepec Mexico expressed outrage regarding the violence against the clergy in the region. While the clergy were celebrating the Day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, a convent was raided and the nuns despite their advanced age were tied and gagged and then robbed.
The Cristero War or Cristero Rebellion (1926–1929), also known as La Cristiada, was Christian resistance in many central-western Mexican states against the secularist, anti-Catholic, and anticlerical policies of the Mexican government. The Mexican Jacobins, supported by Calles’s central government, went beyond mere anticlericalism and engaged in secular antireligious campaigns to eradicate what they called “superstition” and “fanaticism”, including desecration of religious objects, persecution, and murder of the clergy.
And today, in Mexico, this ugly history is repeating itself as we witness the same desecrations while in the U.S., the gay agenda believes that Christianity is “superstition” and “fanaticism” is calling for enacting laws to go after Christians.
The reason as to why these are happening in Mexico is the inundation of the Santa Muerte cult, or the worship of “saint death,” which is in really Lucifer. In 2013, in Tamaulipas and Veracruz, priests began receiving demands that their parishes add an idol of Santa Muerte and even offer the Mass to it instead of Christ. The refusal of the priests to abide by these demands, as some parishioners believe, is why these cultists kidnapped the priests.
The drug cartel is filled with the occult. In the 1980s, Cuban “Marielitos” brought Afro-Cuban cult beliefs into the Los Angeles drug and gang culture. Santeria, Voodoo, and Palo Mayombe followers became some of the most violent criminal gang members Los Angeles had ever seen. Across the city, small altars with caldrons or “gangas” of fruit, rum, and cocaine, as well as animal blood sacrifices, dotted the map. “Botanicas” (occult pharmacies) that sold the paraphernalia required for these rituals sprang up in every community.
Last year, Shoebat.com reported on a woman in Mexico who cut the eyes out of her own son for the sake of Santa Muerte.
Drug cartels from Mexico practiced their own rituals. “Brujeria” (Mesoamerican witchcraft) altars with figurines of the bandit saint “Jesus Malverde” or “Santisima Muerte” (holy death) were common in cartel drug houses. Cartel members wore amulets and placed figurines of occult symbols in their cars. Some even openly worshipped Satan.
Like Mexico, in Syria, several Christian religious figures have been kidnapped. Among them are two senior Aleppo clerics — Archbishop Gregorius Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The two were kidnapped in April 2013, and Italian Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio went missing three months later. No news has emerged of their fate and some presumed they have been martyred.
The Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the 41-year-old was taken from the “convent of the Immaculate Conception, where he was living,” in the majority-Christian village of Yacoubieh.
Most of Idlib province is under the control of Al-Nusra and its allies since a large-scale operation earlier this year to expel the regime.
Few in the world paid attention when Syrian Catholic priest Father François Murad 49, and two of his assistants were beheaded by Chechen gunmen:
As it seems, the war on Christianity has begun worldwide and so-called politicians are doing little to defend for the faith. Well … not all. On June 22, Borja Gutiérrez Iglesias, reelected mayor of Brunete, in the Autonomous Community of Madrid (Spain), refused to swear in his office since the rules called for a crucifix to be present on the table. The crucifix has been taken off the table to have him swear under pressure from leftist politicians present at the event. Borja realizing that there were leftist haters, just beginning to swear “by my conscience and honor” when he noticed the absence of the crucifix.
“Where is the crucifix?” Borja rebuked and waited on the table until the Crucifix was relocated and brought back to pronounce his oath again:
From leftists who attempt to pass the hammer and sickle as crucifix, to the gay agenda and the drug infested Mexico whom Donald Trump is leading the war to protect U.S. borders, including the Muslim persecution in the Middle East, this is a time that the faithful need to sacrifice since persecution is the water of the faith. What has been proven throughout history is that with persecution it always end up with Christ Victorious.
VIVA CRISTO REY