Thousands of Colombians in cities across the country demanded the release of those still kidnapped by a local revolutionary group who recently killed four hostages.
“The ideal would be that there be no bloodshed or deaths, that our kidnapped loved ones be returned, that there be no more kidnappings,” said Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba Villota, spokesman for the Colombian bishops' conference.
In the capital city of Bogota on Dec. 5, crowds gathered in Bolivar Square downtown in a rally calling for the release of all those held by the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia.
Hundreds of Colombians around the world also voiced their solidarity with the country in marches held in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Argentina, Ireland and Spain.
On Nov. 26, the rebel group assassinated four hostages that had been held captive for more than ten years. A fifth man, Sargeant Luis Erazo, managed to escape and was rescued by the Colombian military. Erazo told reporters that he prayed for his captors and forgave them.
Bishop Cordoba said on Monday that the Church is ready to assist the captives in any way and awaits instructions from the country’s leaders.
“We live in a state governed by the rule of law and for this reason we will not take any steps without the president’s authorization,” he said.
The bishop reiterated that the Church continues to be committed to help bring about the release of those held hostage through non-violent means.