In partnership with Justapaz, the Mennonite Churches in Colombia, and the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ seeks to:
Hugh and Kate McLean, members of the ecumenical delegation to Colombia during the summer of 2002, have prepared this report. It describes the sources of violence in the Colombia, the churches' struggle to respond, signs of hope amidst the tragedy and some obstacles to creating a just and lasting peace. The report concludes with suggestions for actions to nurture and sustain those who travel the arduous journey toward a better day for Colombia.
The Colombia Delegation
(L to R) Kent Siladi, Lyn Shaw, Davida Foy Crabtree, Kate McLean, Sarah Dowling, Jerry Streets, Hugh McLean
Seven members of Connecticut Conference churches have joined a thirty-five person ecumenical delegation to the South American nation of Colombia. Civil war, narcotics traffic, government corruption, racial violence, and grinding poverty have severely afflicted this nation for decades. Recently the Colombian government ended a policy of seeking peace talks with rebel groups, and a new wave of violence on the part of numerous armed groups erupted. While quiet at the moment, the situation remains very uncertain.
The delegation will investigate the increase in violence and displacement in these predominantly Afro-Colombian areas, and the struggle of social and religious leaders to address the social crises.
The visit represents a show support by the US religious community for the work of Colombian churches and civil society in the search for a negotiated settlement to the armed conflict.
The members of the delegation from the Connecticut Conference are:
We have prepared a series of resources on this web site for use in daily study, reflection and prayer during some of the period that the delegation is in Colombia. Additional resources will be mailed through the Colombia Partnership FIDO service. Join the Colombia Partnership forum at the FIDO signup page to receive these daily mailings.
Amy Beveridge has assembled this list of resources available through the Internet and at the Ruth Dudley Resource Center.