Bolstering ecumenical peace-building in Colombia

“When there is aCacarica, Colombia, is a community of returned displaced people. Photo: Sean Hawkey/ACTn issue which is being felt by one or another church on the grassroots level, there is a need for churches together to raise that issue up also on the global platform,” said Rev. Aaro Rytkönen, the director of advocacy for Finn Church Aid and a Central Committee member of the World Council of Churches.

Rytkönen was speaking especially about the half-century long civil conflict in Colombia, fuelled by drug money and corporate hegemony, stated a WCC release.

The WCC has approved "a statement calling for an increase in ecumenical peace-building already taking place in the country."


A 2009 report from the BBC states, "It is difficult to find reliable statistics on the toll from the violence in Colombia. What is clear is that the scale of the suffering has been huge," citing over 3 million people displaced by civil unrest.

The peace church in Colombia has not been immune. On November 28, 2004, thirty-one year-old Mennonite pastor Javier Segura Gonzales was waiting at a bus stop, when a bomb exploded nearby. He was killed instantly (see the headline "A funeral reflection").

Photo: Cacarica, Colombia, is a community of returned displaced people. Photo: Sean Hawkey/ACT