Date: January 13, 2014
Published by January 13, 2014on
Colombia (VCM/MNN) — Members of an indigenous group in Colombia are coming to Christ in record numbers, but choosing to embrace the Gospel has come with a cost. Many have experienced intense persecution for leaving their tribal traditions.
But today, southern Colombia’s persecuted church is finally finding rest.
Indigenous evangelical Christians formed a refugee village in the Andes Mountains after leaders of the Paez tribe drove them out, reports Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada.
“The tribal leaders said they would take away our medical aid,” Marco, a Paez believer, told Musselman during his recent visit to southern Colombia. You can read the whole account here.
“There would be no schools for our children. They would cut off our electricity and water. We had even received death threats.”
Over the past seven years, indigenous believers have endured unimaginable torture from tribal leaders. Along with being driven out of their villages, some believers endured hours of physical beatings. Others were whipped or put into stocks while “torture machines” ripped their limbs.
Those who fled to the Christian refugee community soon found camaraderie. Nearly three dozen Christian families from other parts of the region joined the Andes Mountains refugee village after being expelled from their homes.
This band of believers is now reaping the benefits of their perseverance. With financial help from VOM Finland and the Body of Christ worldwide, they’ve purchased land and are now in the process of building homes.
“I’m so thankful for this help which gives us strength to keep on going. Thank you so much,” states Wilson, another persecuted Paez believer. “Please remember to pray for us.”
Marco says the refugee community knows they were able to purchase land with the help of believers around the world.
“But we also realize that there are many persecuted people today who desperately need our prayers. So we come together and pray for these believers and their needs,” he states.
“The fact that we have received help during difficult times has given us more motivation to pray for those who are going through similar, or perhaps even worse, situations than we’ve experienced.”
Pray for continued peace and protection for this community of persecuted believers. Find more about Colombia’s Persecuted Church here.