Polarized by partisan politics, dictatorships and civil wars, Colombia has been overrun with violent Marxist guerrilla groups, drug cartels and right-wing paramilitary groups. Although a strong government has stabilized the nation in recent years, the country remains volatile and dangerous. Leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries both seem to have abandoned ideological agendas and have effectively become gangs profiting from cocaine and kidnapping. Those who oppose such groups are targeted.
Despite Colombia’s history of crime, lawlessness, terror and murder, the Church continues to grow. And with the 1991 constitution, greater freedom was afforded to ethnic and religious minorities in Colombia. In 1933, there were only 15,000 evangelicals. In 2010, they numbered 3.5 million (7.5 percent of the population). Some estimates are as high as 5 million. Charismatics now number an estimated 18 percent of the population. The greatest denominational growth has been within indigenous Colombian churches. Local, citywide and national evangelistic outreaches have resulted in large increases in numbers of congregations and believers. Some churches have grown 1,000-fold over the last two decades!