In an effort to bring the message of Christ to Mexico City, more than 2,000 congregations have joined together for the Esperanza CDMX Festival with Franklin Graham. This event, to be held on February 17 and 18, follows last year's success, where more than 52,000 people heard the message of God's love.
Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), expressed his excitement to return to the city to share the message of hope in Christ. He acknowledged the difficulties faced by many people and emphasized that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.
Mexico is grappling with significant challenges related to violence and organized crime. Aggression against certain parts of the population, including women and journalists, continues to be a major concern in the country. These issues, coupled with the challenges of corruption and institutional decay, have strongly impacted Mexico. Organized crime networks have exploited these vulnerabilities leading to a complex and dynamic public security situation.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to Mexico City to share a message of hope,” said Graham. “So many people are overwhelmed by the circumstances of life and the hardships all around us, and I want the people of this great city to know that God loves them and has a plan and purpose for each one of our lives.”
The BGEA event, which will be held at the Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace), will feature the participation of renowned Christian musicians. More than 750 buses are expected to transport people from all over the Mexico City metropolitan area to the event.
Despite the growing popularity of the Santa Muerte [Holy Death] cult, local Christian leaders remain committed to their mission of evangelization. They see Mexico City as a unique opportunity for the light of the Gospel, despite the intense spiritual warfare in the region.
The cult of Santa Muerte, also known as the Mexican folk saint of death, has seen a significant rise in popularity in the country. Despite its reputation as a death cult, followers of Santa Muerte, often referred to as the ‘Bony Lady’, find appeal in her non-judgmental nature and her supposed ability to grant wishes in return for pledges or offerings.
“Mexico City is a very large urban sprawl whose population ranges from 26 to 28 million if you consider the municipalities around it,” said Benjamin Rivera, a local pastor of Centro Familiar Cristiano de Mexico.
According to Rivera, the cosmopolitan city has a variety of entertainment options, which distracts many people from their deepest spiritual problems. Others seek help from the dark spiritual forces that have been gaining popularity in the region.
The Esperanza CDMX Festival has had a significant impact on local churches, some of which have doubled or tripled in size. Local pastors see in this event a confirmation that their evangelistic work is from God.