World Watch Monitor | November 2, 2018
Violence in Colombia has killed 200,000 people and caused around 7 million to flee their homes over the past 50 years, making them the world’s largest internally displaced group of people, World Magazine reported last week.
Violence is especially severe in rural areas. At the border with Venezuela, the magazine spoke with Pastor Juan Martinez*, a former member of a cartel who left the group at 16 when he became a Christian.
The pastor says that, along with other spiritual leaders in the area, he is under constant threat of attacks by gangs that demand control over the region and see pastors as an obstacle for establishing their influence.
“I am currently under threat of death for preaching the gospel,” the pastor said, adding that church leaders are accused of siding with one armed group against another. But he said that sometimes members of these groups become interested in Christianity, as the pastors “speak about Christ with anyone who comes to their churches”.