When missionaries and pastors serving in Mexico discuss drug violence, a common theme emerges. People are suffering and dying in terrible ways, they say, but the fear this creates is driving unprecedented numbers of Mexicans – especially teens and twenty-somethings – into the arms of Christ.
Delacruz holds church services and Bible studies on his patio in the rough, rural neighborhood where he lives near the border. It's an area plagued by poverty and crime, where thousands who've entered the U.S. illegally have settled after fleeing the violence in Mexico.
Mexico's epidemic of violence first erupted in 2006, according to most accounts. But an ex-Muslim from India, who serves as a Christian pastor along the Texas-Mexican border, believes the problem began much earlier, with human sacrifice, witches, and the adoration of death in ancient Aztec days.
Monterrey – a city of 4 million, two and a half hours south of the U.S. border – is a Mexican financial and industrial powerhouse. It's also the place where the Zetas crime syndicate burned to death 52 innocent people in a casino fire last year to avenge the casino owner's refusal to pay them protection money.