COLOMBIA

47

Year: 2019
World Watch List: 47
Score: 58
Leader: President Juan Manuel Santos
Population: 49 million
Christian: 46.9 million
Main Religion: Christianity
Government: Republic
Source of Persecution: Organised Corruption
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Colombia through:
  • Christian literature development and distribution
  • Children centres
  • Training
  • Socio-economic development
  • Trauma support
  • Emergency relief
Source of persecution: Organised corruption and crime / Ethnic antagonism / Secular intolerance

Criminal and guerrilla groups

Despite the peace agreement with rebel group, FARC, there are still areas in Colombia that are controlled by criminal and guerrilla groups. Some of these groups were formed by dissidents from FARC. The absence of FARC also caused other groups like the ELN to become more powerful. Christian leaders and groups who denounce them, try to stop young people from joining their ranks, or evangelise to the guerrilla members, are harassed, abducted, robbed, extorted, and even killed. Youth work is especially monitored and restricted. The situation is worsened by government authorities who collude with the criminal and guerrilla groups, leaving Christians with no help.

Indigenous Christians

Indigenous communities in Colombia are to a large extent autonomous, and their traditional beliefs play an important role. Having a custom or faith contrary to the ancient beliefs is seen as a threat to their traditions. Christians in these communities face imprisonment, physical abuse, denial of basic goods, and having their property confiscated. Some indigenous leaders also use criminal members to intimidate indigenous Christians into renouncing their faith.

Christian influence opposed

A majority Christian nation, Christians do have an influence on political issues. However, there has been a sharp rise in opposition towards this influence in recent years. Anyone who expresses an opinion based on their Christian belief will be criticised harshly and even threatened. Schools do not allow their students to express their faith as well.

PLEASE PRAY

  • For peace and hope for Christians who are threatened by criminal and guerrilla groups. Pray that they are able to stand strong in the face of persecution.
  • Pray that the Lord will comfort believers whose loved ones have been killed for their faith. Pray for grace and strength to forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to the indigenous leaders and guerrilla fighters.

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