A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
– Psalm 68:5 (NIV-UK)

Dear Christian Friends

In 1997, in the southern Mexican village of Chiapas, an armed confrontation resulted in the sad and senseless killing of 45 indigenous Tzotzil Indians, 37 of whom were women and children.

Ninety people were arrested in the hunt for the killers, of which were totally innocent 35 evangelical believers.

Seventy-nine men, including the evangelical believers, are still in prison for allegedly participating in the murders. An Open Doors contact says that about 60 per cent of them are born-again Christians.

On 23 July, a judge added one year to the sentences of 17 of the men, increasing their sentences from 25 years to 26.

He also ordered them to pay a fine of 3,000,000 pesos (£12,425) in damages to the victims’ families.

Open Doors is currently working with solicitors from the Centre for Economic Research and Education (CIDE), who have determined there is clear evidence of the innocence of most of the accused.

Eight solicitors have volunteered to explore different avenues to advance the defence efforts.

Open Doors Latin America will also be working together with the Open Doors International advocacy team to explore international options in the defence process.

Others wrongly convicted of this crime are serving 25 and 36-year sentences.

You can read more details and see photos on our website and you can write to encourage the prisoners and their families – and other persecuted Christians – using our newly updated Letter-writing Guide.

Please pray with us that:

• The Lord will sustain these innocent brothers in prison and their families who are living without husbands, brothers and fathers

• There will be more opportunities to witness to other prisoners and guards and that many will come to know Christ

• Blessing, guidance and wisdom will be given to the volunteer solicitors who are exploring ways to free the men and to get their fines revoked.

Thank you for praying with us.

Every blessing

John
Communications Team

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