Persecution Magazine, August 2015
International Christian Concern
In 2012, two years after converting to Christianity, Casto Hernandez, 34, began preaching and leading a Bible study in his home in Hidalgo state. As his influence grew, more believers in the village began rejecting the pagan rituals performed by many around them. In April 2014, he was summoned by community leaders without explanation and then told he could not use his home for the gatherings.
According to Casto, Emilio Hernandez, the delegate of the village at the time, pressured him to sign a document prohibiting him from practicing his faith. When he refused, the leaders signed his signature in his place, but Casto continued to practice his constitutional right over the next year.
On March 12, 2015, a new community delegate, Jesus Dominguez Hernandez, summoned Casto to appear before the village council again. Casto’s cousin, Juan, 25, joined him. Casto was told that villagers had complained about him using his home to share his faith, and the village council presented him with a document similar to the one signed a year earlier.
Feeling the full weight of the village and facing 50 ex-delegates, Casto prayed, took a deep breath, and refused to turn away from the Lord.
The council demanded again that he sign the document that would take away his constitutional right to worship and practice his faith. Again, Casto stood firm, telling the village officials he could not “live an amoral life, but must live a virtuous life.”