Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016, much of the world’s attention towards the Philippines has been on Duterte’s take-no-prisoners war on drugs, which has resulted in thousands of deaths. The campaign has overshadowed the country’s long-standing struggle with the Islamist-led independence movement on the southern island of Mindanao, where the Islamic State group wants to create a “province” of its “caliphate”. It was in Mindanao in May 2017 that Islamists pledging allegiance to IS besieged the city of Marawi, abducted a Catholic priest and several other Christians, set fire to buildings including a cathedral and Protestant-run college, beheaded a police chief, and erected the black flags of IS. Christians in the south fear that a proposed peace deal between the government and Mindanao’s Islamists will legitimise anti-Christian harassment. Already, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches has reported that some recent converts from Islam have been abused by their families and communities.
Italian businessman and ex-missionary, Rolando Del Torchio, kidnapped in the Philippines last October, was released on Friday 8 April, . Police picked up the 57-year-old in the southern Philippine island of Jolo. After six months of captivity, he appeared much thinner and was immediately taken to hospital for a check-up. […]
A video has emerged showing the leader of Abu Sayyaf (a militant Islamist group based around the islands of and in south-western Philippines) swearing allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, reports Rappler, a digital news website based in the Philippines. The Abu Sayyaf leader is shown marching with other extremist […]
The pastor taken hostage in Zamboanga last week is among seven released by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels, although others remain captive. Fourteen more have escaped, and nine have been rescued. After eight days of fighting, the Philippines Air Force is firing rockets on MNLF fighters who have been […]
As the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) attack on Zamboanga continues into a third day, the city’s mayor has said the total number of evacuees has reached over 3,000 families. An eyewitness reported: “We went to a missionary to bring rice, and then the commotion began. We went around the […]
A pastor has been taken hostage and several Christians are among the many injured in an attack by a rebel group in the Philippines. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is suspected of carrying out the attack this morning (September 9) in Zamboanga, Mindanao province, which left at least six […]