The Episcopal Diocese of Colombia The Rt. Rev. Francisco Duque Bishop
Colombia • The Republic of Colombia, formed in the late 1800s, is a constitutional republic with a population of 46 million. • Colombia was the first constitutional democracy in South America, and is the only country that has never had a military coup. • Considered the most ecologically diverse country in the world, encompassing Amazon rainforests, tropical grasslands and the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines
Social Issues in Colombia • Due to drug trafficking and para-military activity, Colombia has one of the highest rates of displacement in the world at 5.2 million (second only to the Sudan). • Colombia is the third most unequal country, in terms of income inequality, in the Americas, after Bolivia and Haiti (*while Latin America is the most unequal region in the world). • Poverty and inequality affects women, children, Afro-Colombians, indigenous groups and displaced persons disproportionately. • The poverty gap is most evident between rural and urban areas where 62% of the rural population is poor compared to 39% in urban areas. In rural areas 22% live in extreme poverty, compared to 9% in the urban sector. (Note: 0.4% of landowners own 61% of rural land.)
The Church in Colombia • Until the constitutional revision of 1991, Roman Catholic was the official state religion. • The first Episcopal services in Colombia began in the late 1940s. • In 1963, the missionary Diocese of Colombia was formed under the leadership of The Rt. Rev. David Reed. • Today, Diocesan leadership is comprised of 30 priests, 4 transitional deacons, 3 deacons and several • lay missionaries and evangelists working in 33 churches and missions • across the country. • The vast majority of clergy are bi-vocational, in that their congregations are unable to afford a full-time salary, requiring that clergy maintain secular employment.
Social Ministry of the Diocese … past and present • Colforpaz Foundation (Diocesan-based) • Farm Program (Sta. Marta’s Mission, Faca) • Displaced Advocacy and Accompaniment (Human Rights) in several locations throughout the country • Women’s Advocacy, Education/Training, and Health Programs (Holy Spirit Mission, Bogota) • Elder Services shelter and meals for homeless seniors (Divine Savior Mission, Bogota) • Trinity Foundation (Trinity Church, Cali) • Food Security for Afro-Colombians (Choco Region)
Trinity Church - Trinity Foundation Trinity Fundación se dedica a fomentar la justicia y la dignidad antes, durante y después de la muerte, la lucha contra el hambre, el miedo, la pobreza y la discriminación en el contexto de los Derechos Humanos, Derecho Internacional Humanitario y los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio. Trinity Foundation is dedicated in fostering justice and dignity before, in and after death, fighting against hunger, fear, poverty and discrimination in the context of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Millennium Development Goals.
La Fundación trabaja con personas con violados y vulnerable en tres regiones alrededor de Cali. • Uno de los objetivos principales de la Fundación es apoyar a las mujeres cabeza de familia en su lucha diaria contra el hambre y la sostenibilidad de la familia. • The Foundation works with people violated and vulnerable in three regions around Cali. • One of the Foundation's core objectives is to support women heads of households in their daily struggle against hunger and family sustainability.
Pequeños préstamos para proveer cuatro necesidades básicas: salud, educación, mejoramiento de la vivienda y el desarrollo de pequeñas empresas. Trinity Fundación ha otorgado 200 microcréditos pequeños préstamos actuales (71), el apoyo a 200 familias directamente, y indirectamente, a 600 personas. Trinity Foundation has provided 200 small microcredit loans (71 current loans), supporting 200 families directly, and indirectly, 600 people. Small loans provide for four basic needs: health, education, improved housing and small business development.
Moving Forward • Commissioned a Diocesan Development Committee • Creating a US-based Foundation to work collaboratively with Colforpaz • Developing financial and business education training for clergy and lay leaders • Are working to build up our farming programming • Working in collaboration with ecumenical organizations on a 5-year pilot program to support displaced persons in Colombia • Have a missionary with business education serving as the diocesan Director of Mission Development. • Have been invited to assume leadership of a rehabilitation program for victims of abandoned landmines and ammunition after conflicts in the countryside. • Have been invited to assume leadership of a home for the elderly.
Thank you for your attention, and interest in the Diocese of Colombia.