|Score:||56 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Organized Crime and Corruption|
|Leader:||President Juan Manuel Santos|
Profile of Persecution Methodology
Where Persecution Comes From
Colombia is severely affected by corruption, with the main agents of persecution being leaders of criminal groups like drug cartels and dissident guerrillas. Indigenous leaders also persecute Christians under suspicion of trying to impose their worldview for territorial advantage. The spread of a secularist ideology in the country has led to increased pressure to eliminate Christian involvement in social and political discourse, while the government highly favors the Roman Catholic Church for funding and granting registrations.
How Christians are Suffering
Violent Christian persecution is commonplace in this South American country, both at the hands of criminal and indigenous groups. Guerrilla groups force Christians to pay a “protection tax” as a sort of insurance against assault or murder. They issue death threats to Christians involved in evangelism, fearing that believers will continue to stand in opposition to the reign of terror these groups use to maintain power. In indigenous communities, violence is employed to deter Christians whom they see as a threat to ethnic customs and worldviews. In all of these situations, Christians are prevented from freely congregating and sharing their faith, and are at risk of violent attack from those who hold power locally.
In May 2017, a Catholic priest received death threats for denouncing criminal activity in his region. Two months later, another priest was found murdered.
In June and July 2017, many Christians in indigenous communities were denied access to basic services in an attempt to get them to renounce their faith.
Pray for Colombia
- Formally, Colombia is a modern democratic country where religious freedom is guaranteed. However, large areas of the country remain under the control of criminal organizations, drug cartels, revolutionaries and paramilitary groups. Christians are extremely vulnerable to hostility. Pray for healing and peace in the country.
- Pray for peace and hope for Christians threatened by criminal and guerilla groups. Pray that they would stand strong in the face of persecution.
- Pray for supernatural comfort for believers whose family members have been murdered for their faith. Pray for grace to forgive their persecutors.
Stories from Colombia
Over the next month, we can look to these seven countries on the World Watch List as reminders to pray…
Christian persecution is on the rise and these are some of the worst offenders around the world.
During the duration of the Winter Olympics, remember to pray for Christians from countries on the World Watch List.