(Washington, D.C.) March 6, 2011 — Be a voice for peace and justice in Colombia! Join thousands of activists, students, and people of faith this April as we plan educational public events to stand in solidarity with Colombian communities facing violence and displacement and advocate for U.S. policies that would alleviate, not exacerbate, Colombia's crisis.
With nearly five million internally displaced people, Colombia is home to the Western Hemisphere’s greatest displacement crisis and one of the largest in the world. More people are being violently dispossessed of their lands every day while our government places the majority of its attention toward promoting a military with a troubled and checkered human rights history.
Civilians are still caught in the cross-hairs of Colombia’s nearly 50-year-long armed conflict and unaddressed displacement fuels the war. Join us as we call on our government to promote policies towards Colombia that support Colombian refugees and IDPs and other victims of violence, protects those working for peace in Colombia, and contributes to fair and durable land restitution policies.
Last year was our most successful yet, with over 43,000 people holding displacement-focused worship services, rallying in their community centers and streets, and putting pressure on both Congress and the Obama Administration through meetings, calls and letters. Help us continue to build the movement of solidarity with Colombians by joining us for this year’s National Days of (Prayer and) Action for Colombia.
Learn more on the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia Facebook page here.
How you can get involved:
1. Host a "Hand in Hand for Peace in Colombia" Gathering: Throughout the month, student, church, and community groups will be gathering to learn about Colombian communities facing forced displacement from their homes and create "Hands for Peace" to be sent back to these communities. Please ask your student club, church group, or community organization to consider hosting an educational gathering.
2. Display the" Hands for Peace" in a public demonstration in April. Thousands of Hands in Solidarity, created at educational meetings, will be displayed through public solidarity demonstrations across the country in April. Please ask your student group, congregation, or community organization to consider setting up a public display.
3. Dedicate a worship service to Colombia in April. On the weekend of April 8th - 11th, hundreds of faith communities in the U.S. and Colombia will incorporate Colombia into the weekly worship service to raise awareness of the spiraling displacement and pray for peace. Please suggest that your faith community leaders hold a worship service focused on Colombia.