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World Watch List Challenge – #25 Colombia

In Colombia, Christians and especially pastors often find themselves targeted by the guerilla fighters of FARC (a Spanish acronym for the “Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia”). By opposing illegal drug activities and bearing a Christian witness that draws people away from the violent revolution, Christians are seen by FARC militants as a threat and even as informants to the Colombian army. Here, a pastor retells of several death threats and close brushes with danger he has received from FARC fighters, who accused him of being an army informant and demanded that he stop preaching the Gospel.

6/30/2014 Colombia (Open Doors) – “When I was preparing my sermon for our service, the guerrillas came into the church and started to yell at me,” said Pastor Roberto. “One of them told me that I must leave the region, or I would be killed. I knelt and took my Bible in my arms, and I started to pray while he continued insulting me. Suddenly, he began to destroy the chairs with a machete. When he got close to me, I kept in silence on my knees, praying. He tried to hit me, but thanks to the mercy of God, his attempt failed.”

On several occasions, Pastor Roberto received threats from FARC militants who came to the church. “You are not allowed to continue teaching ideologies opposite to ours,” they would say. They also accused him of being a paramilitary and an army informant.

They even threatened him when he was preaching the gospel inside the church. A month before the last attack, one militant came into the church and shouted at him saying, “You are not here for preaching. You are working with the army, and because of that you must leave or we will kill you.”

In addition to this, the guerrillas went to his house two separate times, but his wife told them that Pastor Roberto was not there.

*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes

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