Member of the Otomí community at the vandalized site. Member of the Otomí community at the vandalized shrine.

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny desecrating site

Ancient shrine continues to be used by the Otomí indigenous people

Vandalism at an ancient religious site belonging to the Otomí indigenous people in the state of Hidalgo has been blamed on Jehovah’s Witnesses believed to disapprove of non-Christian religious ceremonies.


That’s what Chapingo University professor Luis Pérez Lugo says he found when he looked into the vandalism, which took place at Mayonikha, located in San Bartolo Tutotepec.

A researcher who has written books about the Otomí, Pérez said he visited the nearby town of Los Pinales after hearing about the damage, reported to have taken place in May. There, he found a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who admitted to the site’s desecration.

“He wanted to justify what he did as a divine command in the name of Jehovah,” Pérez said. “I told him that we didn’t come here to speak about God, that we were here to see all the destruction and say that this is wrong.”

Pérez said some of those responsible used to attend Otomí ceremonies at the site but had converted and become Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One community member forecast illness among the people for the desecration.

“It is shameful what they did to México Chiquito,” Margarito Velazco said in a video uploaded to YouTube by the International Native American Congress. “Who knows what the harvests are going to be like now and I expect we will have lots of illness in our communities because of what they did there.”


The church itself denies any involvement. It said in a statement that it had investigated congregations in the area and reached the conclusion that the news was “false and misleading.”

“Jehovah’s Witnesses are respectful to people of other religions.”

Whoever was responsible for the damage knocked over stone altars and broke stone carvings and other objects.

Mayonikha, which means Little Church according to one translation and Little Mexico according to another, is a sacred place to the Otomí, says anthropologist Lourdes Báez, who likened it to Mecca for the Muslim faith and the Vatican for Roman Catholics.

The remote shrine, which is also recognized as an archaeological site, is thought to be thousands of years old and one of very few indigenous religious sites that remain in use.

Source: Criterio Hidalgo (sp), VICE News (en)

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  • Cool Hand Luke

    FYI: Jehovah’s Witness is not a Christian denomination.

    • lared ef

      And I have heard many Jews say that Jesus was a magician. FYI.

      • Cool Hand Luke

        As history has shown, many Jews are still waiting for their “Messiah” to arrive, though it is clear He has through the Scriptures.
        He must be some kind of magician to be publicly crucified, lay dead behind a massive rock for three days, then be seen by hundreds of people later walking around with apparent holes in His hands.
        All documented in its day.

        • Jimi_X

          If Jesus was dead for 3 days, how did he die on Friday and be gone from his grave on Sunday?

          • Robert

            He as raised on the third day. Parts of three days!

    • Jimi_X

      They may differ in some beliefs and interpretations of the Holy Bible, but they are definitely Christian.
      I am not Jehovah’s Witness and the members I have met would not even consider doing something like this.
      Someone needs their ass kicked and it is not members of this church.

      • Cool Hand Luke

        First I never insinuated that JW’s did this act, nor would I.
        As far as Christian, they claim to be but they differ on who Jesus is. Jesus is clearly one of the main points of the Christian faith. Jesus claims to be God, yet if they say he is not part of the Trinity (admittedly a word never used in the Bible) but a relationship referred to. If Jesus has referred to as Himself as God, is not God, it would mean Jesus is a liar.
        How can you claim to follow someone who then is a liar?
        Unless of course you change and misapply the teachings of the Teacher.

        • onetrickstallion

          Where does Jesus claim to be God in the Bible?

          • Cool Hand Luke

            I and the Father are one Question: “What did Jesus mean when He said, ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30)?”

            Answer: In John 10 Jesus presents Himself as the Good Shepherd and, in a debate with the Jewish leaders, makes the claim, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). It was a bold statement—one His audience found quite audacious—and it reveals much about who Jesus is.

            Five key observations can be made concerning this passage. First, Jesus claimed to be one with God in the sense of being equal to Him. Jesus did not claim to be merely a messenger or prophet of God, but of equal power with God.

            Second, His audience understood that Jesus was claiming equality with God the Father. In verse 31, “The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” Why? Blasphemy was a crime punishable by death according to the Jewish Law. When Jesus asked why they were planning to kill Him, they answered, “For blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). If Jesus had been lying or deceived, His statement would have been blasphemous. In fact, the only way His words were not blasphemy is if Jesus was telling the truth about His equality with God.

            Third, Jesus referred to Himself as God’s Son and to God as His Father (John 10:36–37). He used Psalm 82:6 to show that the Messiah has the right to claim the title “Son of God.”

            Fourth, Jesus claimed that that Father sent Him: “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world” (John 10:36). In this statement, Jesus claimed preexistence in the Father’s presence. No biblical prophet had ever made such a claim before; yet Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham (John 8:58).

            Fifth, Jesus only stated that the Jews did not believe Him; He never said they misunderstood His claim to be God. John 10:38 notes, “Even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Jesus was not correcting a misunderstanding. They understood what He said perfectly. He was correcting their willful rejection of Him.

            Colossians 1:16–17 affirms Jesus’ same teaching: “In him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” John 1:1 explicitly notes that Jesus was both with God in the beginning and was God.

            In summary, Jesus claimed to be one with the Father as part of a larger argument to note that He had existed from eternity past, lived in perfect oneness with the Father, held the same power as God, and was sent by God the Father’s authority. Unfortunately, He was rejected as divine by the Jewish leaders. Jesus’ claim to have equal power as the Father was not blasphemy. It was the plain truth.

            Taken from

          • onetrickstallion

            When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” he was speaking, not of a mysterious Trinity, but of a wonderful unity—the closest bond possible between two persons.

            Jesus and his Father,, are also “one” in the sense that they are in complete agreement as to intentions, standards, and values. In contrast with Satan the Devil and the first human couple, Adam and Eve, Jesus never wanted to become independent of God. “The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing,” Jesus explained. “For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”—John 5:19; 14:10; 17:8.

            This strong bond of unity, however, does not make God and his Son, Jesus, indistinguishable from each other. They are two individuals. Each one has his own distinct personality. Jesus has his own feelings, thoughts, experiences, and free will. Nevertheless, he chose to submit his will to that of his Father. According to Luke 22:42, Jesus said: “Let, not my will, but yours take place.” These words would have been meaningless if his will could not differ from his Father’s. If Jesus and his Father were really one person, why did Jesus pray to God and humbly admit to not knowing things that only his Father knew?—Matthew 24:36.

            Members of many religions worship gods that are depicted as quarreling and fighting with their own family members. In Greek mythology, for example, Cronus overthrew his father, Uranus, and devoured his own children. How different this is from the oneness based on true love between God and his Son, Jesus! And how this unity endears them to us! In fact, we have the incomparable privilege of being in union with these two highest Persons in all the universe. Regarding his followers, Jesus prayed: “I make request . . . that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us.”—John 17:20, 21.

            So although the scriptures say they are of one thought, Jesus had free will and needed the blessing of his Father to perform miracles.

            In conclusion John 14:28…The Fathef is greater than I

          • Cool Hand Luke

            We know that Jesus is God in flesh because the Bible says many things declaring this. For example,

            John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
            John 1:14, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”
            John 8:24, “unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”
            John 8:58, “before Abraham was, I am.”
            Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
            Col. 2:9, “for in him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form.”
            Heb. 1:8, “But of the Son he [The Father] says, ‘You’re throne, O God, is forever and ever.'”
            After Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, Thomas, one of the disciples, doubted that he had risen. Jesus appears to him and Thomas responds by saying to Jesus “my Lord and my God,” (John 20:28). Jesus makes no correction to Thomas about this. Titus 2:13 tells us to wait for the coming of “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” In John 5:18 it says that Jesus “was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

            It is clear from the Scriptures that Jesus is considered to be God in flesh; that is, he is considered to be divine. The reason is because without Jesus being both God and man, he could not make a sacrifice of sufficient value to please God the Father. If he were not a man, he would not be able to die for the sins of mankind.

          • onetrickstallion

            John 17:3, RS: “[Jesus prayed to his Father:] This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God [“who alone art truly God,” NE], and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
            Notice that Jesus referred not to himself but to his Father in heaven as “the only true God.”

            John 20:17, RS: “Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
            So to the resurrected Jesus, the Father was God, just as the Father was God to Mary Magdalene. Interestingly, not once in Scripture do we find the Father addressing the Son as “my God.”
            And thats a key thought….never does God refer to Jesus as a God. He calls him either “son” or “only begotten son” ………begotten meaning “fathered”.

            John 1:1? Did he mean that Jesus is himself God or perhaps that Jesus is one God with the Father? In the same chapter, verse 18, John wrote: “No onehas ever seen God; the only Son , who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.”
            Had any human seen Jesus Christ, the Son? Of course! So, then, was John saying that Jesus was God? Obviously not. Toward the end of his Gospel, John summarized matters, saying: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, [not God, but] the Son of God.”

            John 20:28 (RS) reads: “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
            Isaiah 9:6 (RS) also prophetically describes Jesus as “Mighty God,” but not as the Almighty God.
            Shortly before Jesus’ death, Thomas had heard Jesus’ prayer in which he addressed his Father as “the only true God.” John 17:3 After Jesus’ resurrection Jesus had sent a message to his apostles, including Thomas, in which he had said: “I am ascending . . . to my God and your God.” John 20:17. After recording what Thomas said when he actually saw and touched the resurrected Christ, the apostle John stated: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31

            John 5:18, “This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.”
            It was the unbelieving Jews who reasoned that Jesus was attempting to make himself equal with God by claiming God as his Father. While properly referring to God as his Father, Jesus never claimed equality with God. He straightforwardly answered the Jews: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.” (John 5:19, ,John 14:28; John 10:36.) It was those unbelieving Jews, too, who claimed that Jesus broke the Sabbath, but they were wrong also about that. Jesus kept the Law perfectly, and he declared: “It is lawful to do good on the sabbath.

          • Cool Hand Luke

            I have a good idea where you are coming from with your interpretations.

            “Question: “If Jesus was God, how could He pray to God? Was Jesus praying to Himself?”

            Answer: To understand Jesus as God on earth praying to His Father in heaven, we need to realize that the eternal Father and the eternal Son had an eternal relationship before Jesus took upon Himself the form of a man. Please read John 5:19-27, particularly verse 23 where Jesus teaches that the Father sent the Son (also see John 15:10). Jesus did not become the Son of God when He was born in Bethlehem. He has always been the Son of God from eternity past, still is the Son of God, and always will be.

            Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the Son was given and the Child was born. Jesus was always part of the tri-unity, along with the Holy Spirit. The tri-unity always existed, the Father God, the Son God, and the Spirit God, not three gods, but one God existing as three persons. Jesus taught that He and His Father are one (John 10:30), meaning that He and His Father are of the same substance and the same essence. The Father, Son and Spirit are three co-equal persons existing as God. These three had, and continue to have, an eternal relationship.

            When Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took upon Himself sinless humanity He also took on the form of a servant, giving up His heavenly glory (Philippians 2:5-11). As the God-man, He had to learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8) to His Father as He was tempted by Satan, accused falsely by men, rejected by His people, and eventually crucified. His praying to His heavenly Father was to ask for power (John 11:41-42) and wisdom (Mark 1:35, 6:46). His praying showed His dependence upon His Father in His humanity to carry out His Father’s plan of redemption, as evidenced in Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17. His praying demonstrated that He ultimately submitted to His Father’s will, which was to go to the cross and pay the penalty (death) for our breaking God’s law (Matthew 26:31-46). Of course, He rose bodily from the grave, winning forgiveness and eternal life for those who repent of sin and believe in Him as the Savior.

            There is no problem with God the Son praying or talking to God the Father. As mentioned, they had an eternal relationship before Christ became a man. This relationship is depicted in the Gospels so we can see how the Son of God in His humanity carried out His Father’s will, and in doing so, purchased redemption for His children (John 6:38). Christ’s continual submission to His heavenly Father was empowered and kept focused through His prayer life. Christ’s example of prayer is ours to follow.

            Jesus Christ was no less God on earth when praying to His Father in heaven. He was depicting how even in sinless humanity it is necessary to have a vital prayer life in order to do His Father’s will. Jesus’ praying to the Father was a demonstration of His relationship within the Trinity and an example for us that we must rely on God through prayer for the strength and wisdom we need. Since Christ, as the God-man, needed to have a vibrant prayer life, so should the follower of Christ today.”

            So here’s my question to you: in your own words who/what is Jesus Christ and who/what is the Holy Spirit?

          • Cool Hand Luke

            Another point to consider is Exodus 20:3-5 (KJV)

            3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

            4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

            5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

            Yet as Jesus was baptized God said of Him: This is my Son of whom I am well leased! Matt. 3:17.
            So if Jesus was disobeying God the Father by being worshiped and “taking” his glory, why would God the Father be pleased with him?
            Go back to the above response.

          • onetrickstallion

            Plus it is said in the scriptures that “Jesus learned obedience” To whom then? Himself?
            Later he said “I always do the things pleasing to him.” (John 8:29) Not to “myself”….. but to his Father.

    • Giorgos Giovanakis

      If they believe in Jesus being the son of GOD that makes it Christian in my book.

  • Happygirl

    We, as (enlightened) humans should believe in the rights of others to their own religious beliefs and convictions and that includes atheists and agnostics. So, the desecration of another’s place of worship should be viewed with disgust. The community should rebuild their shrine and proudly carry on. It was mainly made of stone and should be easier to rebuild than say a burnt down church, or blown up Buddhist shrine, Mosque, Jewish temple etcetera. Thank you for reminding us to be more tolerant of others by reporting this abuse.

  • Noreb Al

    The most ridiculous accusation of the century. Jehovah’ Witnesses have been fighting in the courts of law, for freedom of religion for over 100 years.
    In the US alone many of the freedoms that the average citizen enjoys were won by JW even in the US Supreme Court.
    . Do not be surprise if the next accusation is that Jehovah’s Witnesses came to America about 500 years ago, and with the excuse of bringing Christianity to the ” pagan ” Indians murdered millions of them and stole large amounts of gold and silver.
    To ” add insult to injury ” they also discovered that the Indians ” did not have a soul “. so they were not fully humans and could be slaves and treated like animals without affecting their ” christian conscience”

  • Coco

    A Jehovah’s Witness would not even consider such an action. A person did this not a Religion! I agree with another commentor, make repairs and continue worship at this sacred site. One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch girl…

  • FrederickRhodes

    All form of religious false god worshipping deserve no respect and should be discouraged and shunned, but when one false god worshipping cult destroys another false god worshipping cults shrines, they are destroying their property. The JW cult member who admitted to the vandalism and the members of the Otomi’ cult who converted to the JW cult, were the ones most likely to have committed the crime.

    • onetrickstallion

      So according to you certain religions deserve to be ignored and shunned….however one cannot ignore when 2 religions have a disagreement or a conflict. Interesting.Hmmmm?

      This story is based on the situation…a professor(?) not a policeman…and an unnamed Witness admitting to the crime.?

      Nothing to see here folks…..nothing to see here?

      • FrederickRhodes

        No, that’s according to your weak reading comprehension skills. Only you said “ignored” and only you said “certain religions”. I said All forms of religious false god worshiping deserve no respect, and should be discouraged and shunned. I said when they destroy other people’s property they are committing a crime, or breaking the law. And I suggested that the converts and the one who said he did it were the ones most likely to have committed the crime.

        • onetrickstallion

          Super. Tell us the difference between the words “ignored” and “shunned” then get back to us. You see….some words are spelled differently but mean the same thing. Is that not amazing. Sheeeeesh.?

          • FrederickRhodes

            Whatever. Enjoy your life. I have found a lot of joy in helping to educate people on how to beat the paranoid delusions and depression caused by ritual, religious and routine infant and childhood sexual traumas resulting from circumcision, by practicing foreskin restoration therapy. If you are in need let me know.

          • onetrickstallion

            Through God’s Word….I’m living the best life ever.So I’m all good.

            Thanks for the foreskin off. I think good there as well.?

          • FrederickRhodes

            Just like you, a lot of these police officers who are racists trigger happy terrorists, are victims of medicalized and religious infant and childhood sexual shock, assault and trauma to their undeveloped brains, and develop paranoid delusional thought processes as they go through puberty. They develop psychotic superiority complexes thinking they are better than everybody else because they had parts of their healthy exterior reproductive organs cut off, sacrifices.

            It’s only going to get worse because of the arrogant pride of the medical industry and religious extremists who put their faith in ritual, religious, and routine infant and childhood circumcisions and excisions. There are more terrorist being being made daily, due to this unnecessary and terrorizing witchdoctor medical ritual disguised as a health procedure, or a religious obligation such as in Judaism, anti-Christianity and Islam.

            Get yourselves educated on how to properly care for your sons and daughters exterior reproductive organ parts, the prepuces, and their physiological development, and what their neurological functions are for, and what sexual shock and trauma does to our brains as infants and children, so you cannot be fooled into committing this ungodly act on children.

          • Don888don

            That guy is nuts.

          • onetrickstallion

            I was trying to connect the dots in what was there to back his statements….suddenly we’re talking about foreskin(?)?

          • Don888don

            Yeah, he has an obsession.

        • Cool Hand Luke

          Psalm 14:1 speaks of you directly.
          Take it personally.
          It’s meant to be.

          • FrederickRhodes

            None of the old laws in the Old Testament are valid anymore since the sacrifice of Jesus’ life. We’re supposed to love and treat each other as we would like to be treated. The curses in your religious witchcraft won’t work on me. You are condemning yourself by casting false judgement on me according to your own religious laws.

          • Cool Hand Luke

            Well, you sure aren’t any Rhodes scholar.
            I didn’t quote you any law – I quoted God who was speaking of such people as yourself.
            Take it up with him.
            However I’m sorry for you that you hate God as evidenced by your comments, but rest assured he still loves you, and there is nothing you can do to change his mind!
            He loves you!

          • FrederickRhodes

            You can’t quote god. You can only quote men who have delirium with audio and visual hallucinations, and think the voices in their heads are coming from a god, or aliens, or government implants. Claiming you are quoting god is blasphemy.

          • Cool Hand Luke

            I sense from your comments you would have some idea of voices in your head coming from aliens.
            Perhaps the wearing of an aluminum shield will help prevent them.

          • FrederickRhodes

            All the voices in my head come from my brain, unlike you thinking you can sense aliens in other people’s heads, or god in your own. What does that say about you?

            You are most likely experiencing psychotic delusions caused from being sexually assaulted, terrorized and mutilated from your own infant circumcision. It’s well known by psychologists that sexual assault, shock and trauma to an infant’s undeveloped brain, girls and boys, causes catatonic shock, coma and amnesia, stunts the development of our hippocampus and amygdala resulting in paranoid delusional thought processes developing after puberty.

            You’ll need to be dissected after you die for a proper diagnosis in order to find out how much brain damage you experienced from your ritual sexual assault. Jesus was aware of this and that’s why he allowed his life to be sacrificed in order to fulfill all the Old Testament laws, making the covenant law no longer necessary in exchange for your god’s love. Now if you allow yourselves to become circumcised, you are cutting yourself away from Jesus.

            Now there are so many victims of infant sexual assault running around with all these paranoid delusional thought processes, ssexist and racist uperiority complexes, and uncontrollable rages, that they are killing black people and and causing riots, and killing the non believers of their false god and destroying others property like your friend did to those indians.

            Your religion is antiChrist because it does nothing to protect the least of our brothers from becoming victims of sexual assault.

          • Cool Hand Luke

            Jesus love you!

  • Robert

    who believes this story is definitely gullible. Someone is lying or If he claimed to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses he was either on drugs or had mental illness or is no longer active as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe ever disassociated. Jehovahs Witnesses are known the world over for their peaceful ways. They are taught to be tolerant of other people’s religion and respect people’s property. We believe gods kingdom will remove all false idols and gods in his due time, not us.

    • FrederickRhodes

      There’s so many different sub-cults of god’s kingdom theologies. Which one is this god going to use to remove all the false idols and gods. The Muslims feel they are god’s kingdom and they are destroying other religions false idols and gods, and they consider Jehovah’s witnesses as false god and idol worshipers. We’re all in trouble because of all these false god worshipers and their holier-than-thou psychosis.

    • onetrickstallion

      The best thing to do if you want to know or learn of somebody or something….in this case the beliefs of JW’s….ask a JW.

      Thats the key.

  • Linda

    As someone who was forced into the JW cult and has seen how it operates on the inside it would not be surprising if they were involved. JW are taught that non-Witnesses do not matter and should be shunned. And that things like this religious site are from the ‘Devil’ and should not be tolerated. All other religions are used by the ‘Devil’ to distract people from ‘God’s True Path’ according to the JWs. Jehovah’s Witnesses prey on vulnerable people to hopefully indoctrinate them into their cult. They destroy families by actively encouraging shunning of family members who don’t want to follow the whims of The Elders in NY. Finally they are a Doomsday Cult who have been predicting the end of the world repeatedly since the late 1800s. It has never been a ‘religion’ of peace or tolerance.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    They don’t believe He is God and part of the Trinity.