About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Protestants Vs. Indigenous Worship

Corresponsales Indigenas is reporting that a site of local importance for rain ceremonies in Jicaral, Oaxaca, was recently destroyed. It appears the niche (some boulders and trees where candles and offerings were made during the rain ceremony) was destroyed by the municipal government working with local Protestant organizations.

Meanwhile in Chiapas, evangelical families were expelled from schools in Shulvo, near Zinacantan. Though the families had been booted from the community in November, the children had continued to attend school.

Mexico's Catholic majority has often drawn attention to the clash between "crown and clergy," but the great variety of the "Many Mexicos" in religion has usually been a second tier story. Good new scholars like Edward Wright Rios and Matthew Butler have done a great job of drawing attention to the history of local manifestations of religion beyond the cage of the church/state clash. Paying attention to the history of tension between clergy and local saints, schismatic feminine religious leaders and male dominated hierarchies, the use of Mexico as a religious refuge, etc., makes the above two actions understandable parts of a long tradition of tension between religious belief in Mexico. I would suggest some "good reads"...

Religious Culture in Modern Mexico, edited by Martin Nesvig, 2007.
Faith and Impiety in Revolutionary Mexico, ed. by Matthew Butler, 2007.

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