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Good News in Chiapas, Mexican State Known for Persecuting Evangelicals

A recent forum and festival highlight growth of religious freedom and tolerance.

The last good news CT noticed coming out of Chiapas, Mexico, was the local government had decided not to expel 65 evangelicals from their homes in 2007. Now, less than six years later, a nearby town has hosted 25,000 Christians to celebrate religious freedom.

The Adventist News Network reports that 25,000 people attended the festival of "Friendship and Religious Freedom" in Chiapas last Saturday, which "underscores how freedom of conscience continues to improve in this region with a history of persecution against some religions."

In 2011, a forum of church leaders met in Chiapas to discuss how to act upon then-recently approved religious freedom laws. Saturday's gathering was held to thank state officials for "fully implementing" those policies.

CT previously has reported on persecution in Chiapas, noting as far back as 1998 and the early 2000s that joint evangelical-Catholic efforts were helping to bring peace to the troubled region. CT last reported on violence in Chiapas in 2005, when a mob expelled 80 Christians for refusing to recant their faith.

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