How difficult it is to go on a pilgrimage of peaceful coexistence

People from Micoahumado, a community daily affected by the conflict in Colombia, gathered for a public event with a WCC delegation, February 2018. Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC

"Walking and serving together for justice and peace has been and remains a long journey. There are moments when it is and will continue to be tiring, torturous and sometimes dangerous.”
Agnes Abuom, Moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

Over the last 5 years, the World Council of Churches has been following the process that led Colombia to a Peace Agreement. During these three years since its signing, the WCC has met with government agencies responsible for its implementation and heard reports from the UN Verification Mission, from the Kroc Institute, and from the Truth Commission and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

The WCC has traveled to the Territorial Training and Reincorporation Spaces to observe the living conditions and monitor the successes and sorrows of the ex-combatants determined to keep the promise of not returning to war. The WCC has also supported DIPAZ (Interchurch Dialogue for Peace) in overseeing the implementation of the agreement and participating in advocacy platforms before the United Nations Security Council, followed the legislative debates in congress and closely monitored the experiences of the Colombian people who struggle between remaining at war and wagering the higher path of peace.

At this time, hearing the news of an organized return to war by people who were long committed to lay down their weapons and who, through their leadership, participated in the whole process is a significant setback. It is possible that, in the midst of despair, they were not able to find another way out. Yet, it is encouraging that the FARC Party has announced that it will remain committed to the Agreement and that it will not falter in complying with what was agreed upon.

We encourage the churches to continue to support this strong resolve, because we are committed to working for justice and peace that leads to life. We encourage Colombia not to surrender before the perverse interests of the love for money and the hatred that destroy hope. In the midst of the turmoil, we will continue to support the prospect of a more fraternal and more just country because we follow Christ, who was willing to give his life for love.

We invite all the churches and all the spiritualities of the world to unite in prayer so that the forces of death in Colombia do not succeed. "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).

We persist in believing that God calls us to reconciliation, to heal the wounds of war and to work for the preservation of life.

About the author :

The Rev. Gloria Nohemy Ulloa Alvarado is the WCC president for Latin America and the Caribbean. She obtained a bachelor's degree in commercial studies, followed by theological studies at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, and the Pontifical University Javeriana of Colombia, a master's degree in pedagogical processes. She served as a pastor, academic coordinator, and college chaplain and university president.

Her ecumenical engagement of more than three decades involved collaboration with the Latin American Council of Churches, and with the WCC for the creation of the Programme for Ecumenical Accompaniment in Colombia (PEAC).

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The impressions expressed in the blog posts are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.