An Overview of Bogota

With a population of about 7 million people, Bogota sits approximately 8,660 feet (2640 m) above sea level in the Andino region. Orientation is relatively easy, as the mountains to the east are generally visible from most parts of the city.

Bogota is a city with many layers. From internationally recognized universities to regional offices for multinational companies, Bogota is Colombia’s capital for official business dealings. It is a city that caters to a population that has been exposed to European and North American influences, which ensures that anything from traditional dishes (Ajiaco) to sushi or fast food restaurants can be found. It’s one of the most modern and metropolitan cities of South, Central America, and the world. Bogota is divided by 4 sections: The South which is mainly the poorer section of the city; El Centro, which translates “Center”, is the city’s original Downtown and hosts most of its traditional heritage locations, city and public offices, and financial headquarters. El Occidente, which is home to Bogota’s major sporting venues and outdoor parks, as well as residence areas for main middle and some upper class living; and The North which is where most modern development has taken place, and combines many upscale living spaces with affluent shopping centers, boutiques, cafes, nightclubs, and many new business neighborhoods offering headquarters to many multinational corporations

Colombia is very ethnically diverse, and the interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans brought as slaves and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East has produced a rich cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia’s varied geography. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, and is considered the most megadiverse per square kilometer (source).

Religion in Bogota

More than 95% of the population adheres to Christianity, the vast majority of which (between 81% and 90%) are Roman Catholic. About 1% of Colombians adhere to indigenous religions and under 1% to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. However, around 60% of respondents to a poll by El Tiempo reported that they did not practice their Catholic faith actively.

Like the rest of Latin America, Colombia is seeing a continuous increase of Protestant adherents, most of them being converts from Catholicism to Protestantism. Now Protestants constitute between 10 to 13% of the Colombia population. While Colombia remains a mostly Roman Catholic country by Baptism numbers, the Colombian constitution guarantees freedom and equality of religion after 1991. Religious groups are readily able to obtain recognition as organized associations, although some smaller ones have faced difficulty in obtaining the additional recognition required to offer chaplaincy services in public facilities and to perform legally recognized marriages. Before the constitution guaranteed freedom of religion, Catholicism was the official state religion. After the 1991 constitution, there was a separation between the Catholic church and the state, although the Catholic church still holds a privileged position in Colombia.

Currently, there is some religious persecution against Evangelical Protestant leaders coming from Terrorist organizations, like the FARC. They persecute Protestant leaders especially in rural areas for their Biblical teachings that violence should not be acceptable (source).

Wayne & Lina Cooke are missionaries sent out of Vision Baptist Church currently on deputation as church planting missionaries to Columbia. Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

Check out bcwe.org!