Wednesday, October 8, 2008

10/8 - Mexico

The Dominance of the Catholic Church

Today's Concert of Prayer got me to thinking about a recent question discussed on out Unsolved Mysteries in Missions blog about the field of Mexico. Take a look and feel free to chime in.

Representing about 89 percent of the population, Mexican culture is overwhelmingly defined by Catholicism. While only 10 percent are regular churchgoers, most Mexicans are culturally Catholic. Catholicism is more than a religion in Mexico-it's an identity. Most holidays and celebrations have strongly Catholic overtones. There's also a strongly nationalistic flavor to Catholicism in Mexico. Mary of Guadalupe (an apparition of the Virgin Mary) was depicted on the banner for two major wars in Mexico, and her portrait evokes strong feelings of patriotism. Throughout Mexico it's common to see shrines where a variation of the Mexican national flag features Mary of Guadalupe in the center panel. Mexicans are a highly relational people-they value connectedness in society. This is often a barrier for people to become evangelical Christians. Making such a major life choice upsets everything else in their lives, as their lives center around their relationships. This is particularly true for the upper-middle and upper classes, which tend to be less willing to break social ties. The lower class is more mobile between religions and therefore tend to make up a higher percentage of evangelicals.You decide - is the dominance of the Catholic church and the connectedness of the culture the clue that will unlock this missions mystery? Or are there clues that are more convincing? Weigh in with your thoughts by posting a comment here:

See you at the Concert tomorrow!

Kristi Crisp
Call to Prayer Editor
World Gospel Mission
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