Philippines parliament approves bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is seen as key to ending decades of conflict and stopping the growth of Islamic extremism in the southern region of Mindanao where just last year the city of Marawi was attacked by a militant group. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Philippines parliament yesterday (30 May) approved a bill that will give greater autonomy to the southern region of Mindanao, as reported by Reuters. The approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is another step towards the creation a new autonomous territory called Bangsamoro, named after its ‘Moro’, or Muslim, . . . Read More

Philippines: Catholic priest, Marawi hostage for almost 4 months, tries to find healing

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from an IS propaganda video posted on 30 May last year.
One year after Islamist militants stormed the southern Philippines city of Marawi and 8 months since his escape from his kidnappers, Catholic priest Father Teresito Suganob is trying to find healing for himself and his nation, reported UCAN. Father Suganob was one of around 200 people who were taken hostage . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi, a year after Islamist siege, 50,000 still in temporary shelter

Street in battle-scarred Marawi in a still taken from a video.
 People in the battle-scarred Southern Philippines city of Marawi are trying to rebuild their homes and lives one year after the place was stormed by Islamist militants. On 23 May 2017, militants belonging to the Maute group, an affiliate of Islamic State, took over Marawi. In what followed, five . . . Read More

Philippines cathedral bomb attack followed warning of ‘very real’ terrorist threat

The situation in Mindanao has been tense for many years. Military personal stand guard in front of a church in Davao City, Mindanao, after a bomb attack killed 14 people here in 2016. (Photo: MANMAN DEJETO/AFP/Getty Images)
Two people were injured after a bomb went off outside a Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines a day after regional leaders heard that the risk of terrorist attacks remains “very real”. The explosion at St. Anthony’s cathedral took place on Sunday (29 April) in the City of Koronadal, capital . . . Read More

Persecuted Christians celebrate Easter with mixed emotions

Flag of Syria is waving as sign of victory over the destroyed heavily damaged city of Aleppo. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Easter this year was a time of mixed emotions for the Christians who live under pressure for their faith. While political and religious leaders called for peace, reconciliation and brotherhood, Christians in countries like Syria and the Philippines continued to face violence and its consequences. Below, World Watch Monitor gives . . . Read More

Philippines: Mindanao gets first deputy governor for Christians

(Photo: Getty Images/AFP/Ferdinandh Cabrera)
The autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines has named its first deputy governor for Christians. The governor, Mujiv Hataman, said the appointment of Edgardo Ramirez, a known human rights activist and radio broadcaster, would ensure the voices of Christians – a minority in the region – are heard. After . . . Read More

Marawi’s rebuilding yet to start, despite warning that defeating extremism depends on it

Marawi’s rebuilding yet to start, despite warning that defeating extremism depends on it
Four months after the battle ended over the southern Philippines city of Marawi, Muslim leaders have called on people to stop posting divisive information on social media. Rumours were spread via social media in recent weeks, saying that the Catholic cathedral, which was severely damaged during the conflict last year, . . . Read More

Amnesty: ‘Discrimination rife in all regions of the world … with deadly consequences’

Buddhist flags are waved during a mass demonstration against Christianity in Sri Lanka, April 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A review of the human-rights situation in 159 countries during 2017, published by Amnesty International yesterday (22 February), shows that religious persecution continues in the form of threats, attacks, extrajudicial killings and even genocide, while harsh sentences continue to be handed out – sometimes even death sentences – for changing . . . Read More