Colombia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a church leader. Between 25 and 30 pastors are killed every year. In areas of traditional religion authorities may try to close down churches and force believers to return to spiritism and animism.These actions violate Article 18 of the Human Rights Declaration.
Pastor and his daughter killed by militants. A nine year-old girl Nubia, her father and a woman from their church were shot dead earlier this year (2013) by two armed men who came to the door of their home. Maximo Suárez Romero was the pastor of a small Christian community in the La Guajira region of Colombia. On the day of the incident, church members were meeting in the pastor’s home for a time of fasting when the attackers came to the door and asked for the pastor. Minutes later, Pastor Suárez, his daughter Nubia and Maylen Cecilia Guevara, a 27-year-old member of the church, had been fatally injured. Another child was also wounded and needed to be treated by doctors. The gunmen, who were able to escape police following the shooting, were reportedly involved in gathering financial support for a revolutionary group. However, Pastor Suárez had strongly refused to give any money to support the group. Pastor Suárez leaves a widow, Aida Sanchez, and three young children,Vanessa, Juliana and David. Here she is with two of her children-look at the sadness etched on her face and theirs.
They are the secret children, the sons and daughters of the persecuted church. They never get three wishes, never get any happy ever afters or fairy tale endings.
And their parents face terrible choices: between staying faithful to Jesus or protecting their children; between raising their children as Christians or keeping them physically safe.
In the Arauca region of Colombia there are several widows beginning to take part in and to lead a recovery project with Open Doors to enable them to be strengthened in the Lord.
To find out more about the Secret Children and to download resources to help you, your church or your small group to pray, go towww.opendoorsuk.org/secretchildren
Source: Open Doors
1. That Aida and her children will know God’s comfort, and that Aida will find work so she can support the family
2. For courage and protection for all Christians taking a stand for Christ in Colombia
3. That the Secret Children campaign will raise awareness of the plight of the children of the persecuted church, and that the lives of many children will be transformed as a result.
Manuel Camacho was killed in front of his family 18 months ago -the family pictured below have gone to mother-in -law, killer is still at large. Here are his wife and children.
Pray for Luz Elena, now aged 20 and at university, who spend a number of years in a Christian orphanage with her siblings Leonardo and Emilia. Their mother Rosalbina who was a FARC member who converted, was killed in front of her in 2006. She is estranged from her father and two other brothers.
Pray regarding threats and extortion against church leaders by the illegal ‘Black Eagles’ group around Cordoba.