Pope Francis makes a third tour of Latin America. This time he was in Mexico, the second most populous Catholic country in the world. More and more Mexicans come out of Catholicism, and the Pope hopes to persuade them to remain faithful to the Church.
Pope Francis arrived in the country, which remains a stronghold of Catholicism for many centuries. In 2010 the number of Catholics, Mexico ranks second in the world after Brazil. The majority of Mexicans – a faithful Catholic. Faith is an integral part of their family traditions. It is deeply rooted in the culture and history of the country.
Millions of Mexican Catholics gather each year at the Basilica of the virgin of Guadalupe, to honor the patroness of the country. But the number of Catholics in Mexico is on the decline. Many of them have left the faith, like Sarah. She was born in a Catholic family, and 17 years have already performed all the necessary religious rites. But soon realized that she’s not getting closer to God.
“In 17 years, I still felt the emptiness in my heart. I didn’t have the slightest desire to live. I more wanted to die. One day a friend of my mother said, “I want you somewhere to invite”. She didn’t even say the word “Church”, but brought me there. That day the pastor’s sermon touched my heart,” says ex-Catholic Sarah Granados.
Thousands of Mexicans, such as Sarah, become Evangelical Christians. In 1970, 96% of Mexicans call themselves Catholic. Today the figure is less than 85%. One of the reasons for this decline is that pastors of Evangelical churches closer in spirit to his flock. It is estimated that in Mexico a Catholic priest has an average of 6 thousand Catholics, one Evangelical pastor for every 200 members. Among other reasons for the frustration of Mexicans in Catholicism is called the activity of Evangelical churches and stained the reputation of the Catholic Church.
“It should be recognized that some scandals have led many to be disappointed in the Church and find another spiritual,” says FATHER JOSE DE JESUS, representative of the Roman Catholic Church.
“The work of Evangelical Christian churches in evangelism can be called successful for several decades. Many come to hear another message, bringing peace, harmony, blessing, and salvation of people,” says pastor Benjamin of Lomeli.
A record number of people now becoming Evangelical Christians, and Pope Francis hopes that his visit will enliven the congregation and encourage Mexicans to remain faithful to the Catholic Church.