Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Mexico Partially Restores Religious Freedom

By Pedro C. Moreno
Published August 1, 1992

The Lower Chamber of the Mexican Congress recently approved a “Law on Religious Associations and Public Worship” that attempts, at least partially, to restore religious liberties in that country.

The new law recognizes a church’s right to own private property (Art. 16); for its ministers to wear clerical clothing in public; have its legal status recognized by the government (Art. 7); and have a separate legal existence from the state (Art. 1). It also guarantees the individual the right “not to be compelled to contribute with money or goods to support an association, church or any religious group,” nor be compelled to “participate or contribute in the same way in rites, ceremonies, festivals, services or acts of religious cults” (Art. 2(d)). The sixth article of the law establishes that “religious associations are equal before the law in rights and obligations.”

This translates into no special privileges for the Catholic Church or a state-established religion. However, this law still expresses the religious intolerance such as that which took place when the state promoted the predominance of the Catholic Church in the past century. On the negative side, the new law bans religious institutions from owning TV and radio stations or newspapers, allowing only the use of them under certain conditions and licenses (Art. 16, second paragraph). Likewise, public religious worship must have consent of the state (Art. 22).

The new law hinders liberty of association, movement, speech and religious freedom that the Mexican Constitution recognizes. For instance, the new law considers any religious association that has not been registered with the government to be a “punishable infringement.” Clearly such a provision, besides being impracticable, is unconstitutional. The state attributions under the new law go as far as to make it the “arbiter” in conflicts between religious groups!

Despite the above mentioned insufficiencies, the new regime of religious freedom in Mexico is clearly superior to the one in effect until now. The new law amends several articles of the 1917 Mexican Constitution, particularly the Article 130. In its original form the Constitution’s Article 130 established the “intervention” of federal powers in “worship matters and external discipline.” Likewise, it did not recognize the legal status of any religious association; granted the state legislatures the right to establish the “top number” of ministers of certain religious groups; forbade the ministers of these groups from “criticizing” the government; and severely restrained the private property of churches.

Congressman Amador Rodriguez Lozano, president of the Human Rights Committee of the Lower Chamber, commented on the difficulty of dealing and approving a law of this type and defined the issue of church and state relations as “untouchable.”

Rodriguez describes it as a question of “two territories — God’s and Caesar’s — on which the same and free people journeys.” Rodriguez adds that “the Mexican state has learned the importance of recognizing and placing in its strictly spiritual dimension, the role of belief and attitudes of the people’s profound religious faith.”

“The state knows perfectly,” he says, “that the concept of faith is valid in the people, not only in the religious aspect, but in the issues regarding the institutional trust in civil life.”

President Carlos Salinas de Gortari affirmed this by expressing his “respect and support” for all religious groups in that country.

Mañuel Gomez Granados, director of the Mexican Institute of Christian Social Doctrine, which is connected to the Catholic Church, comments that the modifications to Article 130 “will facilitate the development of a new evangelization in the country only if the (Catholic) Church assumes its responsibility; because if it does not, it is irrelevant that the law changes.” The Catholic Church will continue to be “fossilized in some aspects, anchored in the past, without moral strength to transform the people.”1

Referring to evangelization, Gomez Granados adds: “If we are honest people, we will say that the evangelization in our country has been a weak, deficient one, a superficial polish, when evangelization must change the innermost parts of the human being, giving him a lifestyle of total confidence in God, of austerity, or work.”2

Currently, religious plurality in Mexico is expressed by the existence of around 175 different religious groups. The Protestants are, after the Catholics, the second largest group, with 17 million adherents.

“Within the modernization of religious life as a social process,” writes G. de Jesus Huchim Hoyoc, exists a “wide and open religious market which means that every church accepts the challenges of competition, productivity and efficacy. Each denomination will have to demonstrate or reaffirm its competitiveness in proselytism. This is particularly applicable in the case of the Catholic Church.”

Huchim Koyoc continues, “The state has no business protecting the inefficiency of any religious association in keeping or increasing the number of its members (or quota in the religious market). The dynamics of each church, its capability to maintain or increase its participation in such a market, must depend fundamentally on its own effort, and not on some form of state protectionism”3

This way, Mexico advances toward the consolidation of a regime which will allow an authentic and full religious plurality, will strengthen its democratic process and will preserve the civil and political liberties so dear to the Mexican people.

1 David Perez Calleja, El Nacional, July 8, 1992.
2 Ibid.
3 El Nacional, July14, 1992.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Latin America

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

$4.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats