Already some 300 churches have been closed down and 52 pastors and leaders
killed since 1988
By Dan Wooding
May 7, 2001
SANTA ANA (ANS) - Open Doors with Brother Andrew, the ministry begun more than four decades ago by Brother Andrew, the Dutch-born author of "God's Smuggler," is urging Christians worldwide to join their "Wage Peace Upon Colombia" campaign and pray for peace in that trouble-torn country and also for persecuted Christians there.
"The Body of Christ in Colombia is caught in the crossfire of the groups participating in the civil conflict and faces persecution due to their decision to follow Christ," explained Terry Madison, the US President and CEO of Open Doors, who recently traveled to the trouble-torn country. "The Colombian church has estimated that 300 churches have been closed down and 52 pastors and leaders have been killed since 1998.
"As of December 2000 the number of kidnappings hit a record high of 3,029 people. The total reported kidnappings for the last 10 years is 17,653 although the actual figures are projected to be three or four times this, approaching 70,000 victims."
Madison went on to say, "Colombia has the longest-lasting insurgency in the Southern Hemisphere. This war has claimed over 100,000 civilian lives in the last 10 years, and currently about 30,000 more lives are being lost every year in this culture of violence. It is estimated that more than 2 million people, living in extreme poverty, have been displaced by the violence since 1995. Approximately 10 percent of these refugees are Christians.
"Because of the continual reports we receive from Colombia of churches and pastors under severe threat, and evidence of the growing presence of satanic groups bent on destroying the Christian church and its leaders, this time of prayer is critical."
Therefore, Madison and Open Doors are calling for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting for Colombia on Saturday, July 28, 2001. On that day Christians worldwide -- including thousands of Christians across Colombia -- will be praying that God would shed His light and peace on that embattled nation, which many consider the most violent in the world. Open Doors is urging all Christians to stand alongside our Colombian brothers and sisters and see them to victory! (Those who cannot participate on July 28 are encouraged to do so on any day between July 25-31.)
Open Doors is suggesting the following foci for the day of prayer:
* For Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to rule in and through the hearts of the Colombian people.
* For the leaders of the Colombian government and the various armed groups to express peace in ways that will benefit all Colombians.
* For all sides of the conflict to diminish the supply and use of deadly weapons against the civilian population.
* Pray that the causes of conflict -- hunger, corruption, injustice and poverty -- will be replaced with the justice of God.
* For key leaders of the civil conflict (government, insurgency, paramilitary and cartels) surrender their lives to Christ and lead the vision for a just peace.
4) Healing, Forgiveness and Restoration:
* For those who have suffered the atrocities of the violence.
To request free materials relating to the "Wage Peace Upon Colombia" prayer campaign, or for more information on the ministry of Open Doors, write: Open Doors with Brother Andrew, PO Box 27001, Santa Ana, CA 92799 or call: 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535). The Open Doors USA Web site can be found at www.opendoorsusa.org.