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We Will Not Be Stopped

Evangelical Persecution, Catholicism and Zapatismo in Chiapas, Mexico

by Arthur Bonner

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Publisher: Universal-Publishers
Pub date: 1998
Pages: 192
ISBN-10: 1581128649
ISBN-13: 9781581128642
Categories: Social SciencePhilosophy, & Theology

Abstract

The power of the Bible to transform lives and societies has seldom been demonstrated more vividly than in Chiapas in southern Mexico. Beginning in the early 1940s, young men and women of the Summer Institute of Linguistics devised written scripts and then translated the Bible into the languages of the most neglected and most oppressed of indigenous peoples: the Tzeltals, Tzotzils, Chols and Tojolabals. A major part of this book is the narrations of indigenous people who experienced the Bible's power to heal bodies and create loving families. They became apostles, seeding new congregations. They refused to accept what they saw as idols made by human hands and rejected the cults of village saints. For this, they were, like the first Christians, persecuted and driven from their lands and homes, yet they never lost faith. They staked their lives on the Bible's promises. One pastor vowed, "We shall not be stopped." As evidence of such faith and determination, evangelical churches are growing stronger and more numerous.

Simultaneously, the Catholic Church in Chiapas taught the "option for the poor" of the Theology of Liberation. Marxist revolutionaries from northern Mexico took advantage of this structure, leading to the Zapatista revolt of subcommander Marcos. When the revolt failed, what had been hailed as a "Revolt of the Indians" deteriorated into a deadly political struggle of "Indians against Indians," with defenseless villagers caught in the middle.