Colombia (VCM/MNN) — Although
Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has had to
alter the war against the state, they're no less disruptive.
Recent media reports indicate the numbers have dropped dramatically. From what was an estimated 20,000 soldiers,
the number now seems closer to 8,000, which means loss of control over populated
That doesn't lessen the threat of disruption,
though. The FARC guerrilla group prevented
an evangelist with the Voice Of the Martyrs, "Rolo," from entering La Macarena region in
Colombia with radios, Bibles and Christian books, a report confirmed by both
Voice of the Martyrs offices in the U.S. and Canada.
A VOM worker in the area reported that
members of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization are
closing the churches and burning the buses of those attempting to enter the
Add in efforts to raise funds that
keep both the leftist guerrillas and the right-wing paramilitary groups functioning,
and the result is drug trafficking, ransom kidnapping and general lawlessness.
of the trouble comes from the alliances that exist between non-Christian
indigenous population and paramilitaries. Christians who openly oppose their activities are viewed as a threat.
to the religious rights watchdogs, last year these groups killed at least five
Christians, but the real numbers are likely higher. The pressure isn't lessening, either. Last month, because of a successful
evangelistic work, rebels murdered a pastor and two of his relatives.
Yet these cases prove the church is
flourishing. In 1933, there were
estimates of 15,000 evangelical Christians in Colombia, but by 2011, that number
hovered between 3.5 and 5 million with some churches growing 1,000-fold over
the last two decades.
Please pray that Rolo's evangelistic
efforts will not be thwarted. Pray for protection for pastors seeking to
share the Gospel in their communities.
is #47 on the Open Doors World Watch List, which ranks 50 countries according
to the intensity of persecution Christians face for their faith.