International Peacemaker from Mexico

Pablo_pic The Rev. Pablo Feliciano-Cruz

With immigration so much in the news these days, as well as talk of border fences, migrant workers, vigilante patrols and other related news, it’s easy to think that we may have a handle on our great neighbor to the south, Mexico, but in fact, at this time like no other in recent history, we should probably take a little time to get to know the Mexican people a bit better.

For instance, although 89% of the population claims Roman Catholicism as their faith, about 6% of the population is Protestant, including members of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM), a partner denomination of the PC(USA). This and three other, smaller Presbyterian denominations comprise some 1.8 million people, but this represents a mere half of one percent of the total population.

The Rev. Pablo Feliciano-Cruz is a pastor of the INPM who has had much experience with missionary work and the support of missionaries, both within his denomination and ecumenically. His work centers mostly in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, found in the extreme southeast of the country, bordering Guatemala. Both states have heavy populations of indigenous peoples and struggle with poverty, illiteracy, and healthcare issues. Tabasco State was the scene of one of Mexico’s worst disasters in history last fall when heavy rains and epic flooding submerged more than 80% of its land area, affecting over a million people. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance contributed to the relief effort there.

The Tzeltal Synod of the INPM, which includes the area, has recently constructed a new medical clinic to serve the needs of the citizens of Tabasco and Chiapas, which has been called “the most remote, primitive, and forsaken state in Mexico”. Pablo currently serves as the president of the Council for Holistic Development of Our Communities, a group whose function is to oversee the operation of the clinic. He also serves as the chair of the Education Committee of his local presbytery, Ebenezer, and Tzeltal Synod.

Pablo will be prepared to speak on the topic of indigenous peoples, healthcare, extreme poverty, and faith and hope, and what the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico is doing to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and care for the poor. As a frequent visitor to the USA, he may also have unique perspectives on the current discussion of immigration, guest worker programs, and the like which he may be asked to share.

International Peacemakers will be available from September 26 to October 20.

To request a visit by Pablo Feliciano-Cruz to your presbytery, synod, seminary or college, please fill out and return the request form (PDF) by June 15 by e-mail to, by fax at 502-569-8115, or by mail to Debby Vial, International Peacemakers, 100 Witherspoon Street, Room 3229, Louisville, KY 40202-1396. For more information on Pablo and the other International Peacemakers, please call 888-728-7228, extension 5702 (Debby Vial) or 5786 (Bryan Reiff).

Written by Bryan Reiff.

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