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5/16/11 Colombia (ChristianSolidarityWorldwide) – In yet another deadly attack on Christians, FARC guerrillas have shot and killed a fourteen-year-old girl who was a member of a Seventh Day Adventist Church at her home. The pastor of the church, Pastor Nieves, was later shot and killed, leaving behind his wife and two children.

Pastor Gualberto Nieves and fourteen-year-old girl assassinated by Colombian guerrillas.

On Monday 2 May, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas attacked a rural home of some members of Pastor Gualberto Nieves’ Seventh Day Adventist Church in Arauca. A fourteen year old girl, Mayerli Niño Blanco was shot and killed, leaving her siblings to walk three hours to the nearest farm to phone their father, who was travelling. He and Pastor Nieves immediately made their way to the farm on horseback, where Pastor Nieves was shot in the chest and killed instantly. Pastor Nieves is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

Armed attacks target Christians.

Illegal armed groups including the FARC guerrillas make these attacks frequently, targeting pastors and Christians, forcing them to stop preaching, harassing them, disappearing them and murdering them. Earlier this year another pastor and his daughter were murdered outside an evangelical church by rightwing paramilitaries during a Sunday morning service*. Between 25 and 30 Colombian pastors are murdered by armed groups ever year, with more than 300 pastors killed since 2000. They are a target of the illegal armed groups because they promote a faith and lifestyle which directly conflicts with the values and aims of the armed groups.These latest stories show the constant threat that Christians are faced with and the importance for continued advocacy and support for pastors and Christians facing violent persecution.

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