Mennonite Church Canada responds to Colombia Mennonite Church’s statement against violence; sends letter to Colombian government

Mennonite Church Canada has a 75-year relationship with Colombia Mennonite Church. (Photo source: IMCOL.)

Mennonite Church Canada has issued a statement in response to La Iglesia Menonita de Colombia’s (IMCOL) own statement against ongoing violence in its country, and has written a letter to the Colombian government in support of IMCOL and its non-violent witness.

The statement expresses shock and sadness over IMCOL’s reports of the 91 massacres that have taken place in 2020, including the deaths of young people, children and farmers. Two-hundred-and-fifty people were killed; in addition to this, 310 civic and community leaders were murdered.

Mennonite Church Canada denounces the violence and commits to walking alongside IMCOL in their seven commitments to nonviolence and ongoing peacebuilding work.

“IMCOL’s seven commitments to live non-violently and promote peace are a strong and inspiring example of how followers of Jesus respond to violence and injustice,” says Jeanette Hanson, director of International Witness. “We want to stand together in these commitments.”

On March 18, 2021, Mennonite Church Canada wrote a letter to President Ivan Duque, and Daniel Palacios Martinez, minister of the interior of Colombia. The letter states concern and support for IMCOL and Justapaz, its peacebuilding arm organization. It urges the Colombian government to make progress on the Peace Agreement made in 2016. Mennonite Church Canada also stands by IMCOL’s request that the government stop spraying illicit crops with glycosphate, which harms lives and the environment.

“Mennonite Church Canada has a 75-year relationship with the Colombia Mennonite Church. We are family,” says Doug Klassen, executive minister for Mennonite Church Canada. "This statement and letter are accompanied by the prayers of so many in our nationwide community of faith who hold our siblings in Colombia near to their hearts.”

The statement has been shared with IMCOL and is available for the public to view here. The letter to the Colombian government is available here.

Individuals and congregations who wish to support the Colombian Mennonite Church (La Iglesia Menonita de Colombia) can:

  • designate giving to the regional churches for Colombia or visit to donate
  • contact Jeanette Hanson to join a rapid response prayer network for the Colombian Mennonite Church
  • contact Jeanette Hanson for information about an initiative to connect Colombian and Canadian congregations for mutual learning and prayer.




Media contact: Jeanette Hanson