United Church of Christ leaders are celebrating the announcement that the last armed conflict in South America is over after five decades. More than 200,000 lives were lost in the conflict, and 5 million people displaced.
On Monday, Sept. 26, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander Timoleón Jiménez signed the final accord signaling the beginning of the end of the armed conflict that dates back to 1964.
The Connecticut and Central Atlantic conferences of the UCC have long been leaders in the denomination's 20 years of work advocating for an end to the violence in Colombia.
"As disciples of the Prince of Peace, we offer our support and prayers to those who will now embark on a new path to making peace in Colombia," said Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi.
UCC General Minister and President the Rev. John C. Dorhauer said in a statement that: "Two generations have now been born into this war — and it is time they come to know the ways of peace. I am personally grateful for the global mission partners of the United Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for their presence throughout, and the ways their gentle souls and abiding presence has brought comfort to so many while themselves helping to bring peace."
The Connecticut Conference has sent numerous delegations to Colombia to support the peace process and to call for the recognition of human rights for all Colombians. At the national setting, two General Synod resolutions regarding Colombia were passed, and Missionary Michael Joseph was placed in that country.
Read more at ucc.org: UCC advocates celebrate end of 52-year Colombian conflict
Find out more about the peace agreement: The last armed conflict in Latin America is finally ending, cnn.com
Go to www.ctucc.org/news.php and search "Colombia" to see more about the Conference's partnership over the years.