CARTAGENA, Colombia – At least 1,000 Colombian believers from different religions prayed on their knees on Wednesday before the Cartagena City Hall to protest a court decision ordering prayer to be discontinued at official events held by public or government entities.
The crowd, most of them dressed in white shirts, filled the Plaza de la Aduana, in the city’s historic downtown, where they held signs with phrases such as “Cartagena is Christ’s” and “God demands that we pray without ceasing.”
On May 10, Judge Alejandro Bonilla Aldana ordered prayer to be discontinued at the start of plenary sessions of the Municipal Council and at the activities held by public entities, including schools.
The decision is intended to overturn Agreement No. 5, implemented in 2007, which orders the practice of holding a prayer at the beginning of all daily activities of local government entities.
Attorney Hector Perez, a member of the La Uncion Christian community, told EFE that Cartagena believers met to “protest the measure to suspend prayer at schools ... and public and private entities.”
“The Political Constitution of Colombia invokes the protection of God,” said Perez, adding that “Colombia is a believing country traditionally and historically.”
Perez said that “recently there was a lawsuit intending to remove the name of God from the National Police emblem, which has the words ‘God and Fatherland,’ but the State Council did not accept the arguments and ruled against that proposal.”
In his opinion, the whole thing is “a strategy mounted at the national level” against religion and which “all believers” would resist.