Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It is prosperous to be a preacher!

In a time where ignorant Christians (and non-Christians) believe that it is fashionable and profitable to be a pastor or preacher, this article below highlight certain risks.

Just like John the Baptist, prophet Isaiah, Apostle Paul, Stephen the deacon, Jesus the Messiah, and others like them, all were killed for preaching.

It is risky and dangerous to be a preacher! You will most probably be persecuted and martyred for being God's mouthpiece, despite what the name-it-claim-it preachers say.

Yet with this background in mind, the Bible boldly declares: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer (preacher), he desires a noble task (1 Tim 3:1).

I salute ALL those who desire this sacred task!

Two Christian Pastors Shot Dead in Colombia

by Daniel Blake

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 14:10 (BST)

Two Pentecostal pastors have been assassinated in southern Colombia last week. Initial reports indicate that the 17th Brigade of the leftist guerrilla group, FARC, is responsible.

Pastor Humberto Mendez, 63, and Pastor Joel Cruz Garcia, 27, were abducted from their homes on 5 July, in the southern part of the country, where FARC has a strong presence.

According to church representatives, a group of armed men wearing camouflage clothing called them by name and led them away, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The bodies of the two men were found the next day 40 metres apart. Both had been shot in the head.

While authorities and church leaders seem to agree that FARC committed the murders, the motive is unclear. The families of the pastors have said that they never received any warnings or threats from any group.

According to reports by the news agency GospelNoticias, the assassinations were in response to the participation of local churches in nationwide protests against terrorism and kidnapping.

Bogota skyline

Church representatives in the area, however, also point to the ongoing risks that accompany preaching and teaching Christian principles in a region with a significant guerrilla presence.

According to church leaders at the local and national levels, FARC has declared Protestant pastors to be legitimate military targets. They have said these two assassinations are representative of a wider problem for communities of faith, particularly those located in rural areas and conflict zones across the country.

Two church-based NGOs, Justapaz and the Commission for Restoration, Life and Peace, have documented over 100 targeted assassinations of pastors and other church leaders across the country since 2000. Many are a response to the refusal of many pastors to participate in or support the activities of the armed groups, including paying protection money or tolerating the recruitment of young people from their congregations into the armed groups.

While FARC is not responsible for all of these murders, they have been implicated in a significant percentage of them, according to CSW. Right-wing paramilitary groups and another leftist guerrilla group, the ELN, are believed to be responsible for the rest.

Tina Lambert, Advocacy Director of CSW, said, “Our prayers are with the families and the communities of these two men at this very difficult time. It is completely unacceptable for the FARC, or any other armed group, to target church leaders. These were two pastors, both civilians, who were simply preaching at a peaceful religious gathering.

“We call, once again, on all armed actors in Colombia to respect religious freedom and to uphold the rights of believers to practise and live out the tenets of their faith.”

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