|Cristero Prepare for Battle|
The Cristero War (sometimes known as the Cristiada in Mexico) lasted from 1926 to 1929, during which Christians fought against the policies of religious persecution enforced by the liberal Mexican government. These policies of religious persecution, stemmed from the anti-Christian 1917 Mexican Constitution. Confiscation of Church property, closing Christian schools, even preventing religious education in churches and requiring all religious activity be overseen by the government were features of the Constitution passed by Marxists who came to control the Mexican government. Citizen soldiers for Christ took the name “Cristeros”.
The roots of the conflict harkens back to familiar players in the American Civil War. The centralist policy of Benito Juarez (1806-1872) and other "progressive" schemes have earned Juarez the nickname “the Mexican Lincoln”. In similar fashion Juarez as Lincoln had advisiors swayed by the ideas of materialist philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) that were sweeping the elitist salons from London and Boston to Mexico City.
Juarez the famous Mexican President was himself a well known enemy of Christians. In 1861 he and his political party reneged on their foreign debt and precipitated a war with their European creditors. President Lincoln came to his aid sending money and arms using Union General Phil Sheridan as a military liaison officer of sorts to the Juarez government.
Juarez acknowledged Lincoln’s help and jailed the Confederate States envoy in Mexico. He also did his best to stop any aid from getting to Texas. Juarez and his government despised the Texans who he believed had “stolen” Mexican territory and who harbored numerous Christian groups that were perceived to be enemies by the liberals in Mexico.
North of the border as the War Between the States wound down Confederate soldiers commanded by Missouri General J. O. Shelby joined the fight against Juarez. His “Iron Bridge” was welcomed by the Mexican people who had for a time thrown off the oppressive anti-Christian government of Benito Juarez. The Confederates fought the Juaristas continuing the battle against those who sought to centralize government and diminish the Judeo-Christian worldview.
Like Lincoln and his centralist allies; Juarez prevailed. In doing so he planted the seeds of the Cristero War nearly 60 years later which would try to fulfill the dream of “wiping religion from the landscape of Mexico”. The subsequent Constitution of 1917 was an effort to oppress Christianity out of existence.
After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic centralists, leftists, Marxists and other liberals who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of President Benito Juárez from the previous century. The liberal dictators were arrogant intellectual elites who considered Christians to be superstitious cowardly peasants easily crushed by sophisticated government forces, believing the campaign against them would resemble a “hunt” like killing game animals.
Opposition to the anti-Christian policies began with the formations of various national organizations and then progressed to a decision by the bishops of Mexico to suspend all public worship and to begin a peaceful economic boycott of the government. However, the resistance which until this time had been non-violent became much stronger after the August 1926 siege of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Guadalajara which left many dead including the parish priest and his vicar. This would be followed by several armed uprisings throughout Mexico.
The war raged as one untrained citizen military unit after another fought valiantly against the well equipped Mexican Army. The Christian forces defeated the Army in numerous set battles and controlled vast regions of western Mexico.
Facing defeat in the field the liberal government began a brutal policy of terrorism against the civilian population to no avail. Christian women formed all female support units and it is estimated that 10,000 volunteered. By 1929 the Cristero forces numbered nearly 50,000 armed men.
|Mexican Liberals Lynched Christians|
With the assistance of the United States, a peace agreement was established on 21 June 1929 that allowed worship to resume in Mexico, permitted religious education in the churches and allowed clergy to petition for legal reform. Also the Catholic Church regained its property rights.
At its end, almost 90,000 people were killed during the war. As of 2010, anti-religious provisions of the Mexican Constitution remain although they are no longer enforced. Marxism is still very strong in
Mexico and several of the so-called “liberal” political parties are fronts for revolutionary communism.
Today thousands of Mexicans participate in the “Cristero Cabalagata” a horseback pilgrimage to commemorate the war with the Marxist government in Mexico City. The event grows larger each year. At Cubilete Mountian in the State of Guanajuato men and women climb to the top assembling at the base of the huge Statue of Cristo Rey. This is a ceremony to honor their ancestors who fought and died in the name of Faith and as a symbolic act to remind the Mexican government that the people will not be oppressed.
Millions of Mexicans are conservative Christians. Some know of our shared history but like most Americans they have been kept in the dark by leftists who control the media and the schools. We need to seek out those who have the same opinions we do and pay homage to their heritage and their struggle.
Cristero War Photo Gallery:
More about the history of Mexico