Religious Liberty For Women in Colombia & Nigeria

Fighting for Religious Liberty for Women – Reported by Marina Stendal

Russell and I, along with our thirteen-year-old granddaughter Gabriella, recently traveled to Nigeria to attend conferences on women’s religious liberty and freedom. We were very impressed with the Christian African leaders we met.

In Colombia, the security in rural areas has degenerated, particularly in areas known for drug growing and trafficking. Nigeria is experiencing an increase of Christian persecution and very difficult conditions for women and girls.

The good news is the number of Christians is expanding rapidly in both Colombia and Nigeria. In many African countries like Nigeria, English is the official language so we could communicate with everyone at the conference. We even used English books and Bibles that we produced. Our English radio station called Jubilee Radio transmits over the Internet and can be heard all over the world, including Africa. This station is designed to evangelize and encourage those who speak English as a second language.

The most urgent prayer need I have similar to most Christian women living in dangerous areas, is for me not to live in a constant state of worry and insecurity because this will affect my ministry. It is very intense for me because the ministry involves my husband, four adult children, two sons-in-law and six grandchildren, who are at very vulnerable ages.

Before the Peace Treaty, the major threat was being kidnapped by the guerrillas or paramilitary. These organizations were structured and would typically hold hostages for years while negotiations continued. The new situation is much worse. The small bands of common criminals made up of the residues of guerrillas, paramilitaries, or soldiers do not have structure or patience. They kidnap, immediately kill the victim and then negotiate for whatever they can get.

The sense of insecurity affects my life every day and has the possibility of inhibiting my ministry. I know this is a very fragile subject, but the Lord has always protected us. He has us here and we keep on working. Thank you for standing with us and praying for wisdom as we continue the ministry work throughout Latin America.

Fighting for Religious Liberty for Women – Reported by Marina Stendal