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Colombia Facts

Score: 58 / 100
Region: Latin America
Persecution Type: Ethnic Antagonism
Persecution Level: High
Population: 49,465,000
Christians: 46,955,000
Main Religion: Christianity
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Ivan Duque Marquez

Profile of Persecution

Violence 75%
Church Life 51%
National Life 56%
Community Life 71%
Family Life 46%
Private Life 47%

Christians live under suspicion

About 3.4% of the Columbian population considers themselves indigenous. Ethnic group leaders and religious leaders (non-Christians) within indigenous communities remain loyal to their ancestral beliefs, prohibiting the spread of Christian faith among their tribes through harassment, threats (especially from some violent religious groups related to witchcraft practices), and violence or by denouncing Christians to the authorities.

Leaders of criminal groups and dissident guerrillas continue to be major agents of Christian persecution. These groups often enjoy impunity due to the corruption of local authorities. In the same way, drug traffickers and criminal networks co-opt government officials to act against Christian groups who openly oppose their illegal practices.

How Christians are suffering

Church leaders are being threatened, harassed, extorted and even murdered as a result of the violence perpetrated by guerrillas or other criminal groups who are often protected due to corruption of the local authorities. Sometimes the violence is directed toward the church leaders’ families and entire communities to discourage anyone wanting to convert to Christianity.

Christians are also ridiculed when they attempt to participate in public debate especially concerning gender, marriage and abortion. Political parties and ordinary citizens reject faith-based opinions and try to enforce agendas that contradict Christian values. Natives who convert to Christianity and missionaries risk imprisonment, torture and the confiscation of property.

Examples

In May of 2018, a church in Bogota was attacked by a group of atheists who threw large stones, breaking windows and damaging the property inside. The attack was so bad that the church leader in charge sought refuge in a relative’s house because of threats made against him.

A 50-year-old church leader was found murdered in his apartment in July 2018. He was well-known in the community for his social work.

Pray for Colombia

  • Pray for Protestant Christians who often experience less tolerance and acceptance than Roman Catholic believers.
  • Pray the power of criminal guerilla groups who control entire regions will be diminished.
  • Pray that government officials will stop trying to eradicate all mentions of religion from the public domain.
  • Pray for Christian converts who often experience isolation and exclusion from their own families.

Stories from Colombia

March 11, 2019

Two More Pastors Murdered in Colombia–Pray With Traumatized Families and Churches

Another pastor has been murdered in Colombia, marking two deaths of church/social leaders in six days of each other. Their…

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March 8, 2019

Hidden Wounds—Christians Say Rape Is ‘Common’ Persecution Method Against Women

Around the world, Increasing numbers of Christian women are doubly vulnerability to persecution—for both their faith and their gender.

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January 6, 2019

In Colombia, Outspoken Pastor Bravely Fights for Community

Pastor Galarza was the only one on the front lines opposing the intrusion of armed groups into the community—a recognition…

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