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Church to participate in new Colombia peace deal

by Hannah Tooley

It is negotiating between the second largest rebel group after the FARC, Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN).

Colombia has suffered more than 50 years of civil war between government forces and FARC guriella soldiers, where 250,000 have been killed.


Leader: President Juan Manuel Santos
Population: 48.7 million, 46 million Christians 
Main Religion: Roman Catholicism
Government: Republic
World Watch List Rank: 46
Source of Persecution: Organised corruption/ Tribal antagonism / Secular intolerance

The President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, Archbishop of Tunja His Exc Mgr Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, told Agenzia Fides how the Church is involved.

He said: "The Church will be present in the public phase of the talks with a committee of five Bishops of the hardest hit territories by the guerrillas, including the Archbishop of Cali, the Bishop of Arauca, Chocó and Tibu."

He went on: "they prepared themselves for these talks for more than a year".

AP Photo/Fernando Vergara

The Archbishop of Tunja said that the Church will use wisdom and intelligence to look at how the two parties can best work together.

The public phase of the peace process begins later in the month in Venezuela, after a referendum narrowly ruled out a proposed peace deal at the start of the month.

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