5/28/11 Colombia (BosNewsLife) – Colombian Christians remained on high alert Saturday, May 28, amid reports that leftist rebels have been killing “many of their own” men after discovering they were Christians, a Christian rights group said.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were conducting “an internal purge, reportedly killing many of their own men and accusing them of being traitors to the Communist cause,” said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which investigates the persecution of Christians in several countries.
“It is suspected that many of those killed were secret Christians,” VOMC told BosNewsLife in a statement, citing local Christians. It was not immediately clear how many people were killed.
However, “In all our years in Colombia, we have never seen it this unstable,” one of VOMC’s contacts was quoted as saying. “Yet we believe that this is also the most opportune time that we have ever seen for the Gospel” of Jesus Christ, the Christian said, speaking apparently on condition of anonymity because of the security situation in Colombia.
Additionally, FARC is involved in “intense and deadly violence” across the South American nation, according to VOMC investigators.
“On May 12, a bomb exploded in Puerto Lleras, killing several policemen and injuring bystanders. For several months, members of Colombia’s main Marxist rebel group, the FARC, have been openly killing individuals in town streets and burning buses throughout the region,” VOMC explained.
It is often difficult to receive independent confirmation of reported violence as Colombia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to operate.
Media workers face intimidation by FARC rebels and other guerrillas, paramilitary groups and drugs traffickers. Over 120 Colombian journalists were killed in the 1990s, many for reporting on drug trafficking and corruption, rights groups say.