Update on Tamarindo Community
The light of hope is shining more brightly for the campesino farmers of El Tamarindo this Christmas. The families who persevered to this point in collective negotiations have moved to a 12 hectare farm purchased for them by the company which claims title to the land they had been farming for over a decade. The story is far from over, and legal proceedings are still to come with their Constitutional Court appeal, but this is a hopeful milestone in the journey.—Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Urgent action needed on a humanitarian situation in Colombia. The Tamarindo community that the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC) has been accompanying for many years and that the PC(USA), through the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, has also accompanied is on the verge of mass displacement. The IPC reports that over 50 children between the ages of 2 and 15 are among those facing imminent forced and illegal displacement.
Please join us in urgently responding to the cries of our sisters and brothers in Colombia and in using our voice to pressure the Colombian and United States governments to pay attention. Please pray for the safety of the community of Tamarindo and for the leaders of human rights organizations and the IPC who are standing alongside them at this time.—Rev. Dr. Linda Eastwood & Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo
Peacemaking delegation learns about the ‘struggle of life’ in Colombia, explores reconciliation efforts in this war-torn country
Agreements Have Been Reached in Colombia Peace Talks
It was announced on Sept 23 that the peace talks that have been ongoing for well over a year in Havana, Cuba, between the Colombian government and some guerrilla groups seem to have reached the point where peace accords can be signed in March of 2016. There remain final pieces to be negotiated but it seems that the major hurdles in these talks have been cleared.—Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Read PPF article.
Interview: Alice Winters reflects on 35 years of service in Colombia
“We study theology in order to engage in a more transformative and effective evangelism as well as to evangelize ourselves, because knowing theology means discovering and understanding better the good news of the gospel.”
Justice and Responsibility: The Drug War in Colombia
An interview with German Zarate-Durier, direcctor, Office of Diaconia, Presbyterian Church of Colombia
Colombia Accompaniment Program celebrates a decade of difference-making
For more information and eligibility requirements, visit Colombia Accompaniment Program.
Presbyterian Church of Colombia sends a pastoral letter to the people of Colombia and sister churches
"We believe these threats to be religious persecution…We invite churches to continue praying for us and to increase their accompaniment and support"
Binational delegation travels in Colombia, evaluates Accompaniment Program
"It is obvious that our ten-year partnership has not come to an end. We must redouble our commitment to one another and to this work"
Prayers and support needed for peace in Colombia
Leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, as well as leaders in other churches, have received very public death threats. A coalition of churches and peacemaking organisations in Colombia responded in a pastoral letter which states, in part: We consider that the threat to churches in Barranquilla, and to five of its leaders, are a result of their evangelical commitment of these faith communities which have been working arduously in the past years in supporting communities who are victims of violence, and in the peacemaking and reconciliation. These ministries – in congregations, parishes, religious communities, and confessions of faith – are now threatened to the point where our fellow priests, monks, nuns, pastors, and leaders who accompany these communities have had to abandon their cities, and even the country for:
• saying the truth according to the Gospel
• supporting the peace process according to the Gospel
• providing religious services without partiality and without regard where anyone stands politically
—World Communion of Reformed Churches
Colombian Presbyterians combat persistent violence, express appreciation for PC(USA) accompaniers, Colombia International Peacemaker Yasmin Christina Garcia Mosquera says
Transformative workshop with indigenous women addresses gender-based violence
The conference on contextual Bible studies, which also addressed economic empowerment, was spnosred by Episcopal Relief & Development and the New York-based Trinity Foundation
Uprooted by force: Displacement and eviction in Colombia—Sarah Henken/PNS
Promises of peace arising from negotiations between the Colombian government and guerilla forces are a hopeful sign, but an end to hostilities will not bring wholeness and restoration to the displaced and other victims of armed conflict. The churches in Colombia are discerning the ways that they can be agents of reconciliation in a hoped-for “post-conflict” time. Let us pray and work for a peace worth living.
PC(USA) General Assembly vice moderator, other leaders visit Colombia church partnee
"Your coming reaffirms our faith,” said Bernardino López, moderator of the Presbytery of Urabá. “We learn we are not, in fact, a small church. We’re a very large church because of our ties to the church around the world.”
2/14 A valuable partnership
The PC(USA) vice moderator reflects on a recent trip to Colombia
10/13 After 65 years, will peace finally come to Colombia?
An interview with Ricardo Esquivia, Commission for Restoration, Life, and Peace of the Colombian Council of Evangelical Churches
Accompaniment programs and a unified voice of churches are critical to the peace process in Colombia, say church leaders at Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) meeting in Havana
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship requests prayer, action for Colombia after April 12 murder in the El Tamarindo area
PC(USA) accompaniers offer their solidarity and support. Read more
Conservative offshoot of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia rejects the PC(USA)'s ordination standards but reaffirms partnership
The Reformed Synod of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia: "We have different points of view, but as brothers and sisters in Christ, we will continue the commitment of brotherhood to keep working for the benefit of the people of God"
Colombian indigenous group demands end to fighting between government, rebels
PresidEnt Juan Manuel Santos meets with native protesters
Reflection from Sarah Henken: The Mission Example of the Colombia Accompaniment Program, on the Dalas II: Better Togerher blog
Working for Evangelism, Education, & Social Services in Colombia—a commentary by Rev. Diego Higuita Arango, General Secretary, Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, on the Dallas II: Better Together blog
Missionaries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s predecessor established its first permanent mission in Latin America in Bogota. This culminated in the first Presbyterian Church, founded in Bogotá in 1856. With our partner church and mission personnel, Presbyterians are involved in education, leadership development, theological training, youth programs and social advocacy for human rights and peace. Our partners in Colombia are faithful witnesses, persevering as God’s people in the midst of struggle.
We support the ministries of our partners in the face of violence and instability within their country. We strive to be a faithful voice for them to the world at large and within our own church.
Read a brief history of Colombia.
The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS) established a mission in Bogota, Colombia, in 1856, its first permanent mission in Latin America. The first Protestant schools in Colombia were founded by Presbyterians — one for girls in 1869 and a school for boys the following year. In 1888 a second Presbyterian station was opened in Barranquilla, with a third at Medellín in 1889. The Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC) is a result of these early efforts.
Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC)
In the early 1990s differences within the IPC threatened to divide the church, the only PC(USA) partner in South America that had not experienced a split. A split was narrowly averted, however, in 1993 with an agreement to have two separate synods, the Reformed Synod and the Synod. The agreement commits each synod to respect the other and to cooperate in theological education, social service projects and church celebrations. The IPC has historically been committed to ecumenical cooperation, the defense of human rights and the struggle for peace. The IPC strives for leadership development, especially among young people of the church.
Reformed University of Colombia (CUR)
Formerly the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the Gran Colombia, the School of Theology is now part of the Reformed University of Colombia (CUR). The CUR received formal recognition from the Colombian government in May 2002. The university provides degree programs for Reformed theological education for Protestants throughout the region.
Colombia Mission Network
- For information contact Mamie Broadhurst
The Colombia Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.
Learn more about Colombia
Visit the BBC country profile.
See the 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 57