10 Colombian Bishops and Priests Receive Death Threats

Security Plan Implemented for Ecclesiastical Authorities

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 27, 2002 (Zenit.org).- On the heels of a Colombian archbishop´s murder, 10 other bishops and priests in the South American country have received death threats, a Church agency revealed.

The National Secretariat for Social Pastoral Care of the Catholic Church in Colombia disclosed the news on its Web page, www.pastoralsocialcolombia.org/. The news is based on police reports published in the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

The information was confirmed by police Colonel Jorge Iván Calderón, coordinator for the security of ecclesiastical authorities, a post created following the March 16 murder of Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of Cali.

Calderón said that the threats come from armed and delinquent groups who think the Church is affecting their interests.

The police colonel said he met recently with Archbishop Alberto Giraldo, president of the Colombian episcopal conference, to coordinate a security program for each of the threatened bishops and priests.

When appointing the security coordinator, the army revealed that 26 Catholic religious and 39 evangelical pastors have been killed since 1998.

The army said the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARC) have killed 11 priests; the National Liberation Army (ELN), two; and the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC), one. As regards evangelical pastors, FARC has killed 28, and ELN and AUC five each.

Other, unidentified groups have killed 12 priests and a Protestant leader. Religious have also suffered kidnapping. According to the army, 19 priests have been kidnapped by FARC, ELN and AUC.

Over the past five years, 338 churches and places of worship have closed because of pressure exerted by armed groups.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation