Catholic and Protestant churches have long been active in the promotion of peace and the defense of human rights across the country. The conflict has directly impacted communities of faith, hindering the free exercise of religion in some parts of the country. CSW’s partner in the country, the Peace Commission of CEDECOL estimates that at least 250 church leaders have been assassinated over the past decade. Twenty to thirty church leaders are believed to be killed each year.
Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said, “We rejoice with our brothers in sisters in Colombia at this long overdue news of potential peace talks between the government and the FARC. We recognise the efforts on the part of the leaders of both sides to reach this point and encourage them to enter into any dialogue in good faith and a true commitment to peace that will benefit all citizens of Colombia. CSW will stand alongside the Colombian churches as they continue to bear witness to the reality on the ground and the impact of the violence on civilian populations, including communities of faith.”