An Assembly of God congregation in Monterey, a metropolis in northern Mexico, was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint by eight armed men on the evening of February 28. It was just after 9 pm local time in Monterey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, when assailants entered the sanctuary at Templo Cristiano El Salvador and forced 80 members of the congregation to the basement. It was there that the assembled Christians were despoiled of their cellphones, wallets, purses and other valuables. Dr Isai Montoya serves as pastor. serve
After the robbers fled, police were called to give chase. But as is frequently the case, the criminals escaped. According to some of the shocked members of the congregation, the gang carried pistols and with shouts and threats had their way. Four of the gang members were adult males, while four appeared to be minors. One witness said “They shouted at us, intimidated us, and threatened our children and old people,” adding that not even churches are save any more as Mexico continues to contend with a wave of violence, especially in the states channelling drugs to the voracious markets in the U.S.
The band of assailants arrived during the middle of the services at the Assembly of God hall, leading some observers to assert that the congregation had been under surveillance. For several weeks, nearby churches have been visited by unknown persons who claimed to be seeking God and consolation. It is thought that this was a ruse to observe the economic level of the congregation and to weigh the amount of possible booty. As a precaution, some churches are locking their doors during divine services to prevent the entry of possible assailants.