Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Guerrillas threaten and kill Christians in Colombia

farc Having ministered in Colombia before most people were prepared to admit there actually was persecution there, this country remains high on my personal priority scale. So, it was with interest that I received the following report from Compass Direct today regarding recent attacks and threats on evangelicals in guerrilla controlled areas of Colombia.

Having been sentenced to die by leftist rebels for holding Christian worship services in 2006, a pastor in Colombia’s northern department of Arauca took seriously the death threats that guerrillas issued on Friday (March 13), according to Christian support organization Open Doors. The rebels from the National Liberation Army (ELN) phoned a pastor of Ebenezer Church in Saravena at 5:30 a.m., telling him to meet them at a site on the Arauca River at 7 a.m. When the pastor, who requested anonymity, arrived at the landing, the guerrillas took him by canoe to the other side of the river – into Venezuela – then drove him to a guerrilla camp some 40 minutes away. For the next three hours, the rebels warned him that area pastors had three options: cooperate with the revolutionary cause of the guerrillas, leave or die. Although the ELN has been at odds with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in Arauca they co-exist without conflict. FARC guerrillas control the southwestern department of Huila, where last November four Christians were killed. Farley Cortés was killed on Nov. 5 in Plumeros village, Hermes Coronado Granado was killed on Nov. 8 in Santana Ramos, and 10 days later a married couple, Dora Lilia Saavedra and Ferney Ledezma were also killed there. Guerrillas seized Saavedra, 40, and the 35-year-old Ledezma from the school where Saavedra taught on Nov. 18, bound them on the floor of an old house and shot them several times. Their pastor, Hernan Camacho, has moved with his family out of the area after receiving death threats. “[The FARC guerrillas] say that we, the evangelical ones, are their worst enemy because we teach the people not to take up weapons,” Pastor Camacho said.

parachuteTo read the full article, click here.  In the April edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter,  VOMC shares the testimonies of believers in Colombia and provides the opportunity for you to to get personally involved in reaching these guerrillas through making parachutes which VOMC partners use to drop literature and other evangelistic material into these remote areas.  Don't miss this opportunity to practically get involved in reaching persecutors for Christ!  You can subscribe to our free newsletter today by clicking here.

Remember to pray for Christians in guerrilla-controlled areas of Colombia.  Many leader are, understandably, tempted to flee the country. Many already have.  But God needs a faithful witness in this land. Pray that they would remain strong and courageous in the face of opposition.


Henry said...

I will Definitely be Praying for the pastors in that area and all areas were they are being persecuted, Thank you all and God bless you and your Families.

Anonymous said...

How to pray? Possible martyrdom vs leaving and being safe! How to choose. I thank God that He knows all things and will strengthen these pastors for whatever happens, and I will pray that the message the guerrilla's get will be the message of the gospel. The message of not 'taking up arms' is not enough. judy

Glenn Penner said...

Yes, the message is the gospel. If you read my blog, you will have read that we are dropping "literature and other evangelistic material into these remote areas" and "reaching them for Christ". And "not taking up arms" is a very appropriate Christ-like response to being pressured to join terrorists, don't you think? Standing by your Christian convictions is a very powerful evangelistic message