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Region South America
Leader President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon
Population 49 068 000
Christian 95%
Main Religion Christian (Roman Catholic)
Government Republic
Rank 49
Score 56
Previous Rank 50
Previous Score 53

“We gathered with other Christians deep in the jungle. A soul won for Jesus is a soul lost for the guerrillas. They knew that too.”

While Colombia has a functioning government, not all areas are under its control. In parts of the country where the government has power, general freedoms are observed. Here the Church enjoys a large majority and freedom. In areas controlled by rebels or overseen by indigenous groups, the opposite is true. In indigenous areas the rule of law is determined by ancestral traditions. In areas controlled by guerrilla fighters, it is almost run like a dictatorship.

Colombia has for many years been embroiled in a war between the state and different armed groups. Cocaine is one of the country’s largest exports. This war has now displaced over 6 million people, the second highest of any country in the world. In 2016 it appeared the government had struck a deal with the largest rebel group FARC. But this was voted down in a referendum. Negotiations to bring peace with all groups are continuing. Christians who speak against violence or drugs often find themselves targets.

Christians have often been the most outspoken about not participating in the drug trade. As a result, many have been killed. Children of church leaders have been threatened and kidnapped. Indigenous groups have also been known to either expel Christians from their areas or kill them. This is done often with the intension of protecting their ancient cultures.

Open Doors strengthens the persecuted Church in Colombia, offering the development of biblical materials, construction of indigenous Christian schools, education programmes, distribution of training materials, and emergency persecution relief aid.

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