Nine Christians have been killed and over a dozen taken hostage in Marawi City, in the Phillipines, where militants from a group linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS) have been clashing with government forces. The militant group is using the situation to target Christians and reports continue to surface that Christians are being forced to recite Muslim prayers.
Open Doors partners managed to rescue 23 families, all of whom have fled homes without basic necessities.
But despite the violence, as with London and Manchester recently, the community Marawi isn’t going to let extremism win. A contact in the region told us:
“Acts of solidarity from Muslims towards Christians abound. Muslim residents have reportedly been giving Christians hijabs, hiding them in their homes, and teaching them Muslim prayers.”
Since the fighting began, over 100 people have been killed – over half of whom are militants – and over 55,000 people have been displaced. Though the Philippine army has made gains against the militants, numbers of hostages, including the Christian hostages, remain missing.
Pray now for that God would be with those who have been taken hostage, and that they would be freed soon. Pray for protection over the civilians, and for their provision as they flee. And pray that extremist views in the Philippines would not gather pace, but that the militants would move towards tolerance and peace.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.