Pope Francis arrived in Colombia on Wednesday for a five-day visit to promote reconciliation after the country's 55-year internal conflict against rebel groups.
His visit comes as the Colombian government implements a historic peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
During his five-day visit, Francis is expected to encourage Colombian leaders to address the social and economic issues that have transpired from the conflict. According to The Guardian, Colombia's internal conflict has killed 220,000 and displaced millions of people.
In a video message on Tuesday, Francis said that Colombia has long yearned and worked for peace.
“Peace is what Colombia has been looking for and working for for such a long time,” he said. “A stable and lasting peace, so that we can see one another and treat one another as brothers, not as enemies.”
"Today’s world needs specialists in peace and dialogue. The church also is called to the task of promoting reconciliation, both with the Lord and between brothers, as well as reconciliation with the environment, which is God’s Creation and which we are savagely exploiting," he added.
Many people are anticipating his Friday visit to Villavicencia, a city south of Bogota, where he will say a prayer of reconciliation between victims of the conflict and former guerrillas. Francis is also scheduled to beatify two Colombian priests killed during the conflict.