Continuing Violence Against Christians in Colombia

Continuing Violence Against Christians in Colombia

After peace talks came to a halt in the 38-year-old battle between guerrilla organizations and the Colombian government, an increase in violence was expected. But no one anticipated how much that violence would be directed against Christians, according to the Persecution & Prayer Alert, published by Voice of the Martyrs.

On April 7, VOM reports, Father Juan Ramón Núñez and a parishioner were shot and killed in the southern village of La Argentina during mass. On April 9, guerrillas kidnapped two priests and a third, who was close to the murdered archbishop, was forced to leave the country because of death threats.

The World Evangelical Alliance issued a statement yesterday warning of the dangers facing Christian workers in Colombia and calling for prayer. They state, "Pastors, evangelists and missionaries infuriate guerrilla leaders and drug lords because they stand against violence, drugs and corruption, often leading corrupt politicians, guerrillas and criminals out of darkness 'into the kingdom of God's Son'."

"According to Colombian pastor, Hector Pardo, the guerrillas consider evangelical groups legitimate military targets because of alleged political involvement, even though evangelicals have actively opposed war and are pursuing peace through dialogue," VOM added.