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July 2000

Colombian Christian Leaders Marked for Assassination

Political violence has claimed the life of yet another evangelical minister in Colombia. Jorge Aldana, 28, was shot to death in the early morning hours of the day after Easter, presumably at the hands of left-wing terrorists. Aldana leaves behind his wife, Orpha, a nine-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. The Aldanas have pastored in Nueva Antioquia since 1996. Jeannine Brabon, an American missionary who teaches theology in Medellin, said that humanitarian work in Colombia has become a life-threatening enterprise. “Many times individuals are kidnapped or assassinated just because they are helping resolve the social crisis of the people,” Brabon said. Aldana’s death brings the toll to 40 evangelical ministers murdered in Colombia since mid 1998. (Compass Direct)

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Lori Gonzalez, 20, of Mission Viejo, California was shot to death on May 28th, 2000 as she drove in the Jefferson Park area of Los Angeles. In this gang-related shooting, the assailant, Samuel Shabazz, Jr., 18, had been aiming for her passenger, a rival gang member. Gonzalez worked two jobs, attended college and did occasional missionary work in Tijuana. (Salt Lake Tribune).

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Simon Noah, 34, coordinator of the Inter Africa Human Rights Monitoring Group. He had been ambushed by the Sudanese government’s Muslim forces in Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan in early 1999.

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Also in Sudan in 1999, Ali Abdel Rahman, 36, and his pregnant wife, Awatif, 29, both of the Layra tribe, killed by the Muslim Popular Defence Force because they were Christians. They were en route to market. As she lay dying, she cried “who will take care of my three children?!” (Frontline Fellowship).

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