According to persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Alfrery Líctor Cruz Canseco was preaching at the Fraternidad Cristiana church in the municipality of Tlalixtac de Cabrer when the attacker burst in and shot him in the head.
However, he was captured and overpowered by the congregation after he attempted to flee the church till the policed arrived, Speaking to Faithwire.com, a spokesperson for CSW confirmed that the assailant “shot at members as they attempted to apprehend him.”
The motive of the killing is not yet known, though Mexican Catholic news outlet, CCM, reported that “criminal groups” could be to blame for the shooting. According to the report, the groups had been issuing threats to priests in the region, urging them to cease their ministry activities. “If you don’t go, you will suffer a lot,” the message read.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and congregation of Pastor Cruz Canseco,” CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement. “The fact that he was targeted while in the pulpit is particularly shocking. We also remain concerned for the wellbeing of Pastor Méndez Ruiz and urge the Mexican government to spare no effort in ensuring his safe return, investigating all of these crimes and prosecuting those responsible.”
The church however, posted on her Facebook page to confirm the death of the pastor, “We regret the departure of Alfrery Lictor Cruz Canseco, friend and brother in Christ very loved by our congregation.”
Though the reason for this attack is not full known yet, there is reflection of been linked to protest of the Christian community of both protestants and Catholic for the renewed peace in the region.
According to faithwire.com, an evangelical pastor from Columbian was also believed to have been assassinated at his home town in the village of La caucana under the sub region of the department of Antioquia, leaving a wife and two children behind.