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Six Months Later, Pastor Still Missing 2009 INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana,





























Colombia
The wife and children of pastor William Reyes, who was kidnapped last September in Colombia and is still missing, have moved from their home to another city due to threatening strangers presumably linked to his kidnappers. Compass learned that ....
Family of Kidnapped Pastor Flee Home   Published in 2009
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 24 (Compass Direct News) – The wife and children of pastor William Reyes, who was kidnapped last September in Colombia and is still missing, have moved from their home to another city due to threatening strangers ....
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 23 (Compass Direct News) – Six months after the disappearance in Colombia of the Rev. William Reyes of Maicao, La Guajira, no one knows what happened to him. This week marks six months of agonizing uncertainty for the ....
Six months after the disappearance in Colombia of the Rev. William Reyes of Maicao, La Guajira, no one knows what happened to him. This week marks six months of agonizing uncertainty for the family of Rev. Reyes. On Sept. 25, 2008, the pastor of ....
Having been sentenced to die by leftist rebels for holding Christian worship services in 2006, a pastor in Colombia’s northern department of Arauca took seriously the death threats that guerrillas issued on Friday (March 13), according to Christian ....
LOS ANGELES, March 18 (Compass Direct News) – Having been sentenced to die by leftist rebels for holding Christian worship services in 2006, a pastor in Colombia’s northern department of Arauca took seriously the death threats that guerrillas issued ....
Church Leaders under Fire   Published in 2008
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia, November 4 – Christians in Colombia are anxious to learn the fate of pastor William Reyes, missing since Sept. 25, even as three other pastors have gone missing. Reyes, a minister of the Light and Truth Inter-American Church and ....
Luis Vera September 7 (Compass) -- After nine months entangled in Colombia’s complicated, often sloppy judicial system for an armed mugging he didn’t commit, Medellín seminary student Luis Vera is a free man. A Bucaramanga judge yesterday released ....
January 26 (Compass) -- Luis Alberto Vera was released last month from Bellavista National Jail in Medellín, Colombia. However, the evangelical seminary student faces a complex legal tangle to prove he is innocent of the crime for which he was ....
January 26 (Compass) -- Luis Alberto Vera was released last month from Bellavista National Jail, a maximum security prison in Medellín, Colombia, in time to spend Christmas with his young family. Vera, however, remains under house arrest at the ....
January 19 (Compass) -- Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) operating in Colombia’s northwestern department (state) of Chocó remain firm in their refusal to hand over the body of a beloved Roman Catholic priest they ....
December 3 (Compass) — Luis Alberto Vera, first-year student at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, finished teaching a theology class at a private school in Medellín on November 26 and went to buy his family bus tickets to their home city, ....
Pastor Dies in Bomb Explosion   Published in 2004
December 2 (Compass) -- Javier Segura, the 31-year-old pastor of a Mennonite church located in the La Victoria neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, died instantly Sunday night, November 28, when a bomb detonated outside a public building near downtown ....
September 6 (Compass) — Masked gunmen burst into an evening worship service at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Puerto Asis, Colombia, on Saturday and opened fire with automatic weapons, killing three worshippers and injuring 13 ....
September 6 (Compass) — Masked gunmen burst into an evening worship service at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Puerto Asis, Colombia, on Saturday and opened fire with automatic weapons, killing three worshippers and injuring 13 more. ....
Rebels Release Kidnapped Bishop   Published in 2004
July 28 (Compass) — Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group snatched a Roman Catholic bishop on July 24, but freed him three days later. Operatives of the National Liberation Army (ELN) kidnapped 48-year-old Misael Vacca Ramírez, bishop of Yopal ....
June 30 (Compass) — The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) freed evangelical government worker Luis Carlos Herrera on June 23, more than three months after they snatched him from a community center near the town of Caicedo. Herrera, 56, ....
Church Leaders Face Extortion Threats   Published in 2004
June 18 (Compass) — After a pause in threats by illegal armed groups against evangelical pastors, Bogotá church leaders are once again receiving “vaccination” extortion demands. Two armed groups fighting in Colombia’s civil conflict, the National ....
Ahimer Velasquez and familyMay 1 (Compass) -- The Christian agronomist kidnapped March 17 by rebels of the 34th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was suddenly freed on April 29 in what the agronomist’s brother said was the ....
May 1 (Compass) — The Christian agronomist Ahimer Velasquez, kidnapped March 17 by rebels of the 34th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was suddenly freed on April 29 in what the agronomist’s brother said was the answer to ....
April 27 (Compass) — Insurgents of the 34th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) confirmed that they are holding Christian agronomist Ahimer Velasquez, the youngest brother of Medellin pastor and Prison Fellowship evangelist ....
Ahimer Velasquez with his famiyApril 27 (Compass) -- A Roman Catholic priest who mediates hostage crises has confirmed that Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels are holding hostage the brother of a well-known Medellin pastor after ....
Church Endures in War-Torn Choco   Published in 2004
April 12 (Compass) — Fighting between paramilitaries and guerrillas in Colombia abated during Holy Week, but war-weary Christians in the department (state) of Choco near the border with Panama know they cannot count on even a few days of peace. ....
(Compass) -- Two evangelical aid workers kidnapped on December 17 were released unharmed last Tuesday after negotiators met ransom demands from the armed group holding them. Sources in Colombia announced yesterday that attorney Juan Castilla Urueta, ....
(Compass) -- On Wednesday, December 17, a band of armed assailants entered a community farm operated by evangelical Christians in Sincelejo, Colombia, and kidnapped attorney Juan Castilla Urueta, 31, and Jhony Jose Rios Anaya, 39, a local ....
Another Priest Assassinated In Arauca   Published in 2003
(Compass) — The bullet-riddled body of the second priest murdered in less than three weeks in Colombia’s volatile Arauca department (state) was found November 21 on a street near the community where he ministered. Jose Rubin Rodriguez, 51, was ....
Lessons from a Hostage Pastor   Published in 2003
(Compass) — Juan Carlos Villegas, 28, the assistant pastor at Family Christian Church in the Medellin suburb of Bello, was leaving a Sunday afternoon church retreat 24 miles from the city in his pickup truck on April 28, 2002. A few yards down the ....
(Compass) — The Association of Christian Lawyers in Colombia is defending a pastor and several church leaders arrested by security forces near the city of Sincelejo and jailed on terrorism charges. Deivis Manuel Carrascal, pastor of the AIEC ....
Peacemaker Presents the Jesus Option   Published in 2003
(Compass) — Ricardo Esquivia, 57, heads the Mennonite peace group Justapaz, which he founded with Mennonite missionaries Peter and Paul Stucky in 1989 to promote non-violent solutions to Colombia’s decades-old war. In addition, he directs the ....
Two Priests Assassinated   Published in 2003
(Compass) — Two Roman Catholic priests were slain in apparently unrelated incidents on November 4 in Colombia. Rev. Saulo Carreño, parish priest of Christ the King Church in the town of Saravena, in eastern Colombia’s violent Arauca department ....
(Compass) -- Many Colombians credit President Álvaro Uribe with notable success in the war on drugs and the campaign against rebel insurgents during his first year in office. Some evangelical leaders say their lives have changed for the better. “The ....
(Compass) -- Prison is the best thing that ever happened to former guerrilla fighter Mateo (not his real name). There he accepted Christ through prisoners who themselves became Christians while incarcerated. Like thousands of other guerrilla ....
Grenade Attack Targets Archbishop   Published in 2003
(Compass) — On August 22, two men on motorcycles tossed a grenade at the home of Medellín’s archbishop, a mediator in peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Monsignor Alberto Giraldo was not at home ....
(Compass) — An evangelical Christian on his way to work died instantly when a bomb exploded May 21 on a highway in Colombia’s violent eastern border region with Venezuela. Eliseo Camelo Ramirez, 35, of Arauquita, leaves behind a widow and four ....
(Compass) — According to a military report released in April, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) pose the most serious threat to Christians in Colombia. Despite the findings, Roman Catholic and Protestant evangelical church leaders ....
Four Christians Murdered   Published in 2003
(Compass) — Twenty-five armed men entered a rural church in northern Colombia the evening of May 6 and murdered its 80-year-old evangelical pastor and three other believers, confirmed the head of CEDECOL, the nation’s evangelical alliance. The Cali ....
(Compass) -- February 20 marked one year since the breakdown of peace talks between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The anniversary also marked the expulsion of the FARC from a special “demilitarized ....
Insurgents Assassinate Pastor   Published in 2003
(Compass) -- On January 27, unidentified gunmen in Colombia assassinated Rev. Jose Juan Lozada Corteza, pastor of the Evangelical Christian Church of San Antonio. According to the Evangelical Council of Colombia (CEDECOL), uniformed men stopped the ....
Armed Group Offers Truce   Published in 2002
(Compass) — Colombians greeted a new prospect for peace when the 11,000-strong paramilitary army known as the Auto Defense Union of Colombia (AUC) offered to cease attacks against enemy armed groups. A document entitled «Declaration for the Peace of ....
Churches Weather Urban Offensive   Published in 2002
(Compass) — Evangelical churches in Medellin caught in heavy fighting between urban guerrillas and government forces reported no casualties or damage to property during a four-day military operation that left at least 18 people dead and 29 injured. ....
(Compass) — Evangelical Christians braced for attack when the national media reported that Interior Minister Fernando Londoño was about to launch an inquiry to determine if Protestant congregations in the country are fronts for laundering drug ....
Veteran Priests Gunned Down   Published in 2002
(Compass) — A Roman Catholic priest in Medellín, Colombia, was murdered by a hooded gunman on September 20 while passing out flyers for a church parish. José Luis Arroyave, 49, was in a pickup truck in the borough of Comuna 13 when two men ....
(Compass) -- Human rights workers in Colombia have documented an alarming increase in assassinations of evangelical pastors and lay leaders in recent weeks. Statistics compiled by Justapaz, a non-profit Christian organization that assists violence ....
(Compass) -- Colombia’s new president is battling rebel armies. Alvaro Uribe has decreed a national state of emergency, limited individual liberties and raised taxes to finance a military buildup. Uribe hopes to enlist up to one million civilians to ....
(Compass) — On August 3, unidentified assassins from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ambushed and killed Rev. Adelmo Cabrera Polanco and his adult son, Luis Carlos, as the two were returning to their home. Pastor of the Christian ....
Priest Gunned Down   Published in 2002
(Compass) — A gunman shot Father José Hilario Arango to death at close range in front of the Santa Teresa church in Cali on June 27, just after the priest had celebrated evening Mass. Arango became the third Roman Catholic priest to die at the hands ....
Weary Christians Look to the Future   Published in 2002
(Compass) — Colombia’s president-elect Alvaro Uribe campaigned with the slogan, “Firm hand, big heart,” and promised a hard line against rebels who have waged war on the country for 38 years. Colombians frustrated with war and death voted him into ....
Bucking the Terrorism Trend   Published in 2002
(Compass) - Terrorist incidents declined worldwide in 2001 by nearly one-fifth, but more than half of the terrorist attacks occurred in Colombia. Some 2,800 people were abducted and 3,500 were murdered in this violent country. The annual report on ....
Kidnapped Pastor Freed   Published in 2002
(Compass) - Five guerrillas with machine guns singled out Rev. Juan Carlos Villegas and a fellow church leader from a small group of Christians returning from an April 28 baptismal service at a ranch in Barbosa, 24 miles from Medellin in northwest ....
The Good News   Published in 2002
(Compass) - Working amidst the violence, Christians who have stayed to reach out to the suffering country say the rewards are great. «A lot of people are coming to the Lord,» said Pedro Hernandez, head of the Medellin Association of Evangelical ....
(Compass) - Guillermo Gaviria, the governor of Antioquia, set out on April 19 with 1,000 supporters on a \"March of Non-Violence\" from Medellin to the mountain village of Caicedo, a stronghold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ....
Pastor Kidnapped Near Medellin   Published in 2002
(Compass) - Juan Carlos Villegas was kidnapped as he returned from a baptismal service with a group of church members on Sunday, April 28. Guerrillas of an unidentified armed group took the associate church pastor at a roadblock 20 miles from ....
(Compass) - In his 14 years as pastor of the Church of God in Puerto Asis, Angel Pinto has had to walk a dangerous line between outlaw armies at war with one another. Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) battle ....
A Deadly Easter Season   Published in 2002
(Compass) - Attacks during the weeks surrounding Easter claimed several lives among Colombia’s Christian community. In the worst atrocity, militants exploded a powerful car bomb on April 7 in Villavicencio, killing 12 persons. Two young persons from ....
(Compass) - After missionaries Don and Elizabeth Sendek left Colombia last year on furlough, the Colombian government broke off talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. Terrorism, violence and kidnapping are increasing. ....
(Compass) - On Saturday, March 16, professional gunmen - allegedly working for Cali drug traffickers - assassinated Roman Catholic Archbishop Isaías Duarte. The archbishop was at the door of a church greeting the last of the guests of a communal ....
(Compass) - Oved Pérez Palacio, an evangelical lawyer from Cereté, about 600 miles northwest of Bogota, has given up his law practice to support human rights among Colombia’s evangelical pastors and church leaders. He was forced to abandon his law ....
(Compass) - For decades, evangelical Christians in Colombia, along with many of their countrymen, have suffered assassination, kidnapping, displacement and poverty due to incessant guerrilla warfare. President Andrés Pastrana, apparently frustrated ....
(Compass) - Two evangelical Christians died in late February in the “de-militarized zone” occupied by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The government’s military recently initiated an offensive aimed at driving the guerrilla army ....
(Compass) - Brother Andrew, author of the bestselling book, “God’s Smuggler,” and representatives of the SALT Foundation (Serving and Learning Together) based in Holland, visited Colombia during the week of February 10-17 to support the peace ....
Peace or Consequences   Published in 2002
(Compass) - On January 20, the Colombian Army was poised to invade the “demilitarized zone” in the southern department (state) of Caquetá, an enclave of fifteen thousand square miles occupied for the past four years by guerrillas of the ....
(Compass) - Lácides Hernández, a member of Prison Fellowship in Medellín, Colombia, brought greetings to the families and friends of David Mankins, Richard Tenenoff and Mark Rich, assembled in Orlando, Florida, on October 6 to pay tribute to the ....
(Compass) - Just a month after Colombian rebels in 1985 kidnapped pilot Paul Dye and three others with New Tribes Mission (NTM), Dye escaped at night from the rebels’ camp. Dan Germann, NTM vice chairman, said that the happy ending gave the mission ....
New Tribes Missionaries Declared Dead   Published in 2001
(Compass) - New Tribes Mission (NTM) has concluded, based on multiple guerrilla testimonies, that three American missionaries kidnapped in 1993 in Panama were shot by their captors three years later as Colombian troops closed in. While the remains ....
Pastor Killed As Drug Past Catches Up   Published in 2001
(Compass) - Two men on a motorcycle approached a Christian pastor - also a former narco-trafficker - as he was leaving a meeting at his Cali, Colombia, church on August 25 and shot him dead. The deceased, Guillermo León Hernández Gutiérrez, 52, ....
(Compass) - A Colombian lawyer has temporarily abandoned his plan to unite the country’s Christian attorneys in a national legal society after a sicario, or killer for hire, apparently attempted to kill him and his brother, also a lawyer. David ....
Hostage Pastor Released Unharmed   Published in 2001
(Compass) - Colombian pastor Enrique Gomez was released unharmed on August 11 after being held hostage for six months by Colombian guerrillas. Melida Gomez, the pastor’s wife, said that the family has no plans to leave their homeland now that her ....
(Compass) - The Sanctuary of Peace movement has emerged from several years of work carried out by the Commission on Human Rights and Peace of the Evangelical Council of Colombia (CEDECOL) and Justapaz, a peace-building ministry of the Mennonite ....
In Pursuit of Peace   Published in 2001
(Compass) - On June 5, guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) released four officers of the country’s security forces they had been holding as prisoners of war. The captives were the first freed under a humanitarian accord ....
When Justice Fails   Published in 2001
(Compass) - Emiro Francisco Gordon, a pastor in Medellín, nearly lost his life last January. A lone assailant shot him at close range and left him lying in a pool of blood on the street. The man who tried to murder Gordon is still at large, even ....
No Place to Call Home   Published in 2001
(Compass) - Two million Colombians - one of every 16 - are now displaced by war. Colombia ranks second in the world behind Sudan in the number of internal refugees. According to government figures, 65 percent are agricultural workers who leave their ....
Serving God under the Gun   Published in 2001
(Compass) - Colombia’s guerrilla leaders say they do not specifically target pastors and church leaders, but the insurgents have become increasingly bold in imposing their brand of morality upon community institutions, churches included. Guerrilla ....
Christians Face Increasing Danger   Published in 2001
(Compass) - On Sunday, March 12, Onofre Hernández Benitez, pastor of the Panamericana Evangelical Church in Arauca, Colombia, was shot by gunmen as he was standing on the sidewalk after morning worship chatting with members of his congregation. He ....
(Compass) - March 25 marked the fortieth day of captivity for Jorge Enrique Gómez, the pastor of 18,000 evangelical Christians who attend the Bethesda Missionary Center church in Bogotá, Colombia. He was kidnapped on Valentine’s Day by a band of ....
(Compass) - Jorge Enrique Gómez Montealegre has prayed for years for Colombia’s guerrillas to lay down their arms and surrender to Christ. Gómez is the prominent pastor of Bogota’s Bethesda Missionary Center and operates a chain of evangelical radio ....
(Compass) - The captured Colombian guerrilla leader believed to have knowledge of missionaries kidnapped in 1993 says he knows nothing about the crime, Colombian authorities and United States FBI officials have told New Tribes Mission (NTM). ....
(Compass) - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas who kidnapped a priest seven months ago from a country estate are asking the Catholic Church to pay one billion Colombian pesos ($500,000) for his safe return. Fr. Guillermo Correa ....
(Compass) - Battered with paramilitary violence and leftist guerrilla threats, almost all of the 60 members of Good Shepherd Church fled their homes in the northern Colombian town of Colosó by late January and settled in Corozal, the nearest city. ....
(Compass) - If there’s a silver lining to the black cloud of danger that threatens Colombia, missionary Kelly Green believes he knows what it is. \"I think it’s the perfect environment to prepare missionaries, the kind of missionaries we want to ....
(Compass) - Colombia’s violent groups are demanding money from churches and pastors in the form of \"war taxes\" to support their activities. Failure to comply invites kidnapping or death for the pastor or his family. Extortion has become a booming ....
(Compass) - Amid the rising tide of violence between rebels, paramilitaries and the nation’s army, Colombia’s people need help and encouragement more than ever. But the danger has forced many international ministries working in the country to ....
(Compass) - On November 30, Bogota police arrested José Milcíades Urrego Medina, commander of the 57th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), for aggravated homicide, extortionate kidnapping and aggravated terrorism. In 1993, ....
Guerrilla Group Denies Murder Policy   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Ricardo Esquivia of CEDECOL, Colombia’s evangelical alliance, said he and other evangelicals met with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for three hours during a workshop held November 23-26 in San Vicente de ....
(Compass) - In mid November, Colombian television broadcast footage of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) military commander Mono Jojoy ordering his troops to kill pastors as enemies of the revolution. But FARC has assured church ....
(Compass) - The November 23-26 evangelical workshop for pastors who live and minister in the FARC guerrillas’ demilitarized zone was attended by 55 evangelical leaders. They are seeking unity with each other and with Christians who aren’t ....
Australian Missionary Released   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Australian missionary Edward Walter Smith, 51, was released unharmed on May 24 almost two weeks after being kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Matt Francis said Smith appeared to have ....
(Compass) - Political violence has claimed the life of yet another evangelical minister in Colombia. Jorge Aldana, 28, was shot to death in the early morning hours of the day after Easter, presumably at the hands of left-wing terrorists. Aldana ....
(Compass) - Resolution as to the fate of three American missionaries kidnapped in Panama in 1993 by Colombian guerrillas continues to evade family and friends. The latest incident involved the discovery of bone fragments in northwestern Colombia, ....
Christian Exodus   Published in 2000
(Compass) - There are one to two million refugees in Colombia because of the civil war between the government, rebel guerrillas, and right wing death squads. The drug trade finances all sides. Overall, an estimated 10 percent of the refugees are ....
Violence Against Pastors Continues   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Two pastors of the Pentecostal Church in Colombia were killed January 23 by presumed guerrillas for their alleged assistance to the Colombian army. In addition, a pastor of the Nazarene Church in Bogotá was reported kidnapped the same ....
Living Hope in the Darkest Place   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Following a list of safety tips is a way of life for Jeannine Brabon, who was born in Colombia and grew up during La Violencia, the bloody civil war of the late 1940s through the early 1960s that has never truly ended. The OMS ....
Living with Death Threats   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Anonymous callers have phoned death threats to the Medellin, Colombia, homes of prison ministry leaders Jeannine Brabon and Lácides Hernandez. One caller demanded that they leave Medellin, said Brabon, who had left for the United States ....
Pastor Murdered   Published in 2000
(Compass) - Sisinio Bernal knew that to hold a crusade in Medellin, Colombia, he needed the support of pastor and evangelical leader Basilio Patiño. So U.S.-based Bernal flew to Medellin to see him. When Patiño was delayed in Venezuela, Patiño’s ....