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Churches in Colombia work for peace and reconciliation

 

DiPaz is accompanying armed groups that have signed peace agreements with the government

July 10, 2024

Participants at the International Meeting of Reconciliation in Colombia on Aug 9. (Contributed photo)

In Colombia, the Protestant evangelical churches and Christian organizations that are part of the Inter-Church Dialogue for Peace — DiPaz — have been organizing for about 10 years, working to overcome violence and achieve peace through dialogue based on an understanding of the gospel that calls us to commit to nonviolence and antimilitarism, the search for truth and justice that make reconciliation possible in our country.

This work has not been easy since the different governments and armed groups that generate violence have not maintained a clear and constant commitment to the search for peace. Given this reality, DiPaz, with its member churches and Christian organizations, has developed different strategies and pastoral actions to accompany armed groups that have signed peace agreements with the government. Today, its members are in the process of reintegration into civilian life in territories where they are rebuilding their lives and carry out reconciliation processes with the communities.

The Rev. Milton Mejía

The current president of Colombia, Dr. Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla who signed peace with the Colombian government at the beginning of the 1990s, is currently calling on all armed groups to a dialogue to agree to set aside their weapons based on his proposal called Total Peace. According to the current government, Total Peace is the new social contract that will guarantee fundamental rights to all people in Colombia, where human security will be based on the protection of life and its full realization through the implementation of social, environmental, economic and cultural policies.

To make this peace policy a reality, the president is inviting all of society to participate in its construction. This is how he has invited me, a Presbyterian pastor, to be part of the peace dialogue team with the National Liberation Army-ELN guerrilla.

In addition, he has asked DiPaz to support other peace dialogue processes and encourages the international ecumenical movement and churches in other countries to accompany the search for peace agreements with armed groups and the reintegration of former guerrillas into civil society.

For this reason, we invite you to pray and walk with us in the hope that a peace that is the fruit of justice in Colombia is possible.

The Rev. Milton Mejía is pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and national coordinator of DiPaz.

Today’s Focus: Inter-Church Dialogue for Peace — DiPaz, Colombia

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Janeen Lush, Accountant 1, Accounts Payable Office, Administrative Services Group (A Corp) 
Catherine Lynch, Regional Relationship Manager, Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program 

Let us pray

You who are the Word made flesh, we thank you for the many ways we have to spread your good news. May the presence of your churches reach many who are in need of ministry and the news of your living presence in our midst. Amen.


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