Bogotá, Colombia—On Sunday, April 15, some Colombian Anabaptist churches ask congregations in their own country and beyond to worship, pray and reflect for the victims, perpetrators and peacemakers related to conflict in their country.
The Internally Displaced Monitoring Center, according to an article released recently by Mennonite Central Committee, reports that just over 5 million people have been forced from their lands and homes within Colombia by armed conflict.
Justapaz, a ministry of the Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (Mennonite Church of Colombia), notes that at least 69 documented cases of human rights violations against Colombia’s faith community occurred in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
In response to this context, Mennonite Central Committee and other faith-based groups organize an annual event called Days of Prayer and Action to pray and advocate for the internally displaced people of Colombia. The theme for this year’s event is, “A Place to Call Home: Hand in Hand for Peace in Colombia.”
Participating in this initiative are some of the congregations of the three Mennonite World Conference member churches in Colombia—Iglesia Menonita (Mennonite Church), Iglesias Hermanos Menonitas (Mennonite Brethren) and Iglesia Hermandad en Cristo (Brethren in Christ).
The plan this year involves not only the April 15 call for prayer but also a call for advocacy on April 16. On this day, churches and faith-based organizations, according to the MCC release, “are asked to witness through advocacy activities, calling on U.S. and Colombian policy makers to support peace and justice in Colombia.”
Congregations are being invited to create artwork that will be displayed in public vigils across the U.S. and sent to partnering communities in Colombia. The MCC U.S. Washington Office has resources and activities available for congregations to use. For online access to the resources, go to http://washington.mcc.org/days.