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CSW - everyone free to believe

Colombia

Colombia: Visit report

27 Nov 2018

The population of Colombia is predominantly Christian, and many citizens participate in religious activities on a regular basis without any hindrance. A significant percentage, however, is subjected to consistent and serious violations of their freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and freedom of conscience. In the wider population these violations mostly take place within and as part of the context of the internal armed conflict. Indigenous communities suffer conflict-related FoRB violations, but have also seen FoRB severely curbed by courts ruling in favour of traditional authorities seeking to impose religious uniformity in their communities.

There have been some significant steps in terms of the conflict, especially in the form of the peace agreement signed in November 2016 between the largest leftist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–Army of the People (FARC-EP), and the government. Nevertheless, violations of human rights, including attacks on civilian populations and severe restrictions on religious freedom, continue or have grown worse in many parts of the country. Another leftist guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), various neo-paramilitary groups, and organised criminal groups have expanded into territories historically controlled by the FARC-EP and are now vying for control. All are responsible for serious human rights violations, including violations of FoRB and of freedom of conscience.

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#2 CSW manifesto

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs