April 1, 2013
Christ is risen, hope lives. Read about what hope means in Colombia in Theo Sitther’s latest article in Peace Signs.
There are plenty of reasons for hope during this Easter season. Remembering the death and resurrection of Christ brings renewed joy and hope of new life. While it can sometimes be difficult to find reasons for hope in political contexts, we are beginning to see signs of hope in Colombia as the government of Colombia and the largest rebel group have entered into peace negotiations.
Read the entire article here.
Find out how you can get involved through Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia here.
February 15, 2012
With more than five million internally displaced people, Colombia is home to the world’s greatest displacement crisis. Minority and indigenous groups such as Afro-Colombians are often affected the most. The violence is also directed at Protestant and evangelical church leaders and members. In 2009, there were at least 69 documented cases of human rights violations against the Colombian faith community. Please pray and raise awareness for our Christian brothers and sisters being affected by the violence.
To raise awareness and to stand in solidarity for those being affected by the violence in Colombia participate in the Days of Prayer and Action. washington.mcc.org/days
February 8, 2012
Argemiro Joaquin Maza Contreras is a campesino from the Mampujan community. He was displaced from his home in 2000 by violence. (MCC Photo/Silas Crews)
In the Colombian community of Mampujan, a rare but exciting peace and reconciliation process is occurring. Mampujan is the only community that has received a sentence under Colombia’s Justice and Peace Law, allowing the community to receive reparations for their displacement. On January 18, a second hearing was held to ensure the reparations were being repaid in full. Anna Vogt from MCC’s Seed program writes about this process:
The journey of peace and reconciliation is not a straight trajectory towards a perfect goal. There are many different, yet equally valuable, ways of shaping peace and reconciliation in communities impacted by armed conflict.
Read the full article >>
*Days of Prayer and Action is a way to become involved in advocating for peace and reconciliation in Colombia. Visit the Days of Prayer and Action websiteto find out more information.*
April 11, 2011
Today is the National Day of Action for Colombia. Join people of faith across the country in calling on Congress to pursue policies that promote justice and peace.
The displacement crisis in Colombia continues at an alarming rate, with another 280,000 people forced to flee their homes last year alone. The brave communities that are working to peacefully return to their lands are facing a rising number of threats and assassinations.
During the National Days of Action for Colombia congregations and communities are calling on our government to pursue policies that protect communities at risk for displacement, small-scale farmers, and Colombian human rights advocates. For sustainable peace in Colombia, the U.S. must stop funding the Colombian military and pushing the unfair U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement. Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2011
In September 2009, Manuel Camacho and his wife Gloria Isabel Hernández, were pastors of a church in Guaviare, Colombia when they were approached by a commander of the FARC, one of the armed rebel groups in Colombia. The commander threatened them for preaching the gospel and demanded a large sum of money from their congregation. The congregation made the difficult decision to give into the guerrilla’s request, but was only able to raise half the money. While the FARC commander accepted the reduced payment, he refused to authorize Manuel and Gloria’s request that they be allowed to continue their evangelical campaign in the local communities. A few days later members of the FARC came to the house and shot Manuel in the presence of his wife and children.
Sadly, Manuel’s murder is not an isolated event. In Colombia, Christian leaders are frequently targeted by warring guerrilla and paramilitary groups involved in the country’s deadly internal conflict. Threatened, displaced, and even killed, members of the church in Colombia face persecution for leading people to Christ. The Christian Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action (Justapaz) has documented numerous stories like that of Manuel and his family in their report, A Prophetic Call 5: Colombian Protestant Churches Document their Suffering and their Hope. U.S. assistance to Colombia is mainly in the form of military aid, which fuels the conflict rather than bringing peace.
Colombian churches are calling on congregations in the United States to stand with them in solidarity and to call for a just U.S. policy towards Colombia. Join churches across the country in this year’s Days of Prayer and Action for Peace in Colombia to raise awareness, pray, and take action for peace. For more information, please visit washington.mcc.org/days.