Disciples of Christ leaders in Mexico are calling for Christians to put political rancor aside as citizens prepare to vote on 1 July in what has been a contentious presidential campaign season.
Political fanaticism and intolerance during the presidential election process have damaged relationships among families, communities and the people, and also those between brothers and sisters in the church, said Pastor Josué Martínez Cisneros, President of the Confraternity of Disciples of Christ Evangelical Christian Churches of Mexico.
“The Church today is called to practice solidarity, to be prudent and conscientious, It has to put aside the hatred, bitterness and intolerance that lead to fractured lives and undone families that face violence because of them,” Cisneros said in a statement.
Mexico’s leftist presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has come from behind in polls to move into second place behind front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
In 2006, Lopez Obrador lost to President Felipe Calderon by less than one percentage point. He refused to concede, alleging voter fraud. Months of nationwide protests followed.
Lopez Obrador has referred to himself as “legitimate president of Mexico” during his campaign.
One poll in the Reforma newspaper put Pena Nieto and Lopez Obrador just four percentage points apart, Reuters reports.
In his statement, Martínez invites the church to get rid of everything that can breed hate and bitterness. “Our country cannot continue to sink into bitterness, violence and intolerance. People are tired of all that.”
Martínez emphasizes that the Evangelical Disciples of Christ Church in Mexico is being challenged to sow peace and to always seek the means for entering into dialogue and conversation, never trampling on or stepping over the rights of others.