Rebels killed two evangelical pastors last month. Unidentified assassins from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ambushed and killed Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor Adelmo Cabrera Polanco and his adult son, Luis Carlos, in the town of Puerto Rico in the area of San Vicente del Caguán.
Guerrillas also murdered Abel Ruiz, pastor of a Pentecostal church in the country's former demilitarized zone. According to the bbc, Ruiz died while speaking to members of his congregation.
Since 1988 civil unrest in this South American nation of 38 million has claimed the lives of at least 70 evangelical ministers and 29 Roman Catholic priests.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Cabrera was president of the Puerto Rico municipal council. FARC demanded last month that all mayors, judges, and state governors immediately resign or face retaliation; 222 mayors have abandoned their posts, leaving 35 municipal governments "in total paralysis," according to the Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo.
According to fellow evangelical ministers, Cabrera resigned his position in response to the threat.
Justapaz, a Christian nonprofit organization with headquarters in Bogotá, says that at least four pastors of evangelical churches have died violently in the San Vicente del Caguán area since late February, when peace talks broke down. Officials inaugurated Alvaro Uribe, the new president of Colombia, behind closed doors on August 7.
Copyright © 2002 Compass Direct
Related articles include:
Colombian rebels kill clergyman—BBC (August 5, 2002)
Colombia's most powerful rebels—BBC (Jan. 7, 2002)
Christianity Today's earlier coverage of Colombia includes:
Rebels Force Churches to Close in ColombiaChristians accused of political involvement in May 26 elections. (May 16, 2002)
Missionaries Defy Terrorist Threat in ColombiaU.S. Embassy says North Americans are guerrilla targets. (Apr. 30, 2002)
Missionaries May Be Target Of FARC GuerrillasU.S. embassy in Colombia issues warning to missionaries and churches. (March 8, 2002)
New Tribes Missionaries Kidnapped in 1993 Declared DeadMission concludes Colombian guerrillas shot the three men in 1996. (Sept. 27, 2001)
Risking Life for PeaceCaught between rebels, paramilitaries, and crop-dusters, peacemaking Christians put their lives on the line in violent Colombia. (September 7, 2001)
Hostage Pastor Released Unharmed In ColombiaWife pledges to stay in Colombia because the kidnappers cannot stop the Lord's work. (August 20, 2001)
Colombian Evangelical Lawyers Survive Murder Attempt |Attack Thwarts Plans to Form a National Christian Legal Society. (Aug. 6, 2001)
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