Colombia (MNN) — Earlier this week, Colombia’s women’s soccer team had fans on the edge of their seats as they secured another chance at the 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifiers with only eight minutes remaining in the game.
Their next chance at victory comes Saturday, when Colombia battles France for a chance to advance even further. Colombia fell to the U.S. yesterday in men’s World Cup qualifiers.
Colombians may be cheering on the women’s soccer team, but they’re booing the government.
Support for peace talks aimed at ending 50 years of civil war has dropped 17% since February. According to ColombiaReports.com, 932 days (31 months) have passed since peace talks began.
And yet, there’s hope amid frustration, according to Open Doors USA. People of every class, from tribesmen to guerilla fighters, are coming to know the Lord because Colombian Christians won’t let fear hold them back.
Many Colombian Christians suffer from a complex battle between the government and illegally armed groups, Open Doors reports.
More than five million people have been displaced over the years, and thousands have been killed. A third of the country is controlled by illegal armed groups, like FARC.
In April 2014, the rebel group forced a dozen churches to close their doors.
Christians are persecuted because the message of the Gospel stands against the practices of rebels. Peace and freedom are available through Christ, but rebel groups want to keep Colombians under their control.
Despite severe persecution and threats, God’s Kingdom is advancing in Colombia. Open Doors shares the story of “Sebastian” — a former guerrilla fighter — below:
Sebastian, who used to be a strong persecutor of the Church, became a Christian after God called him and changed his life. He decided to continue living in the same region, but now his goal is to spread the Gospel. “One night, I was preaching and some guerrillas came to me,” said Sebastian.
“They wanted to kill me because I was preaching, but God protected me and I left alive.”
Open Doors supports persecuted Colombian Christians in multiple ways:
- Biblical training and distribution of Christian literature
- Income-generating projects
- Safe homes for teenagers and children who, due to persecution, cannot live at home
- Trauma recovery program for widows