Photo by Paolobon140
Over 240 people were taken hostage by ISIS soldiers in the Philippines at the end of May. One priest appealed President Duterte to stop fighting against Islamic extremists.
Fox News reports, “A Catholic priest who claims he’s been kidnapped alongside more than 240 hostages by fighters linked to the Islamic State in the Philippines appealed Tuesday to President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the vicious terror spree.”
In response to this, President Duterte ordered a military strike on a Muslim city that was controlled by ISIS fighters.
Per CNN, “The Philippines military has unleashed a series of air strikes in a push to regain full control of a largely Muslim city that was overrun last week by ISIS-affiliated fighters”
President Duterte declared a 60-day martial law to fight the extremists.
New York Times explains, “On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a 60-day period of martial law in the south to expand his authority to fight the militants.”
The death toll on the first day of the attack rose to 100, which included 16 civilians.
Fox News states, “The death toll since Tuesday is close to 100, according to the AP, which includes 16 civilians, 61 militants, 11 soldiers, and four police officers.”
The terrorist attack happened right at the beginning of Ramadan.
CNN reports, “The siege on Marawi unfolded as Muslims worldwide began to mark the holy month of Ramadan. Mindanao has a significant Muslim population, though the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country.”
The military underestimated the strength of the Islamic extremists. Not only were local extremist groups fighting against the military, but also foreign extremists too.
Per New York Times, “Whether he is in the city or not, the military apparently underestimated the strength of the militants there, mainly members of the Maute organization, a group affiliated with Abu Sayyaf that also embraces the Islamic State. The military also said that foreign militants from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were among those taking part in the clashes.”
The priest that was being held hostage begged for President Duterte to stop the attacks.
Fox News states, “In the 5-minute video, Sugnob pleaded to Duterte that they were the victims and that his captors are ‘ready to die for their religion.’”
Despite the threat to their lives, Christian Aid Mission missionaries are sharing Christ’s hope to the people of the Philippines.
Christian Aid explains, “Christian evangelists in Mindanao have long faced dangers and opposition from Muslim militants, and the director said the prospect of Islamist expansion in the rest of the country makes evangelization all the more urgent. Mainstream schools of sharia mandate the death penalty for leaving Islam.”
Please pray for an end to Islamic expansion in the Philippines and the Christian Aid Mission would be able to share Christ’s hope with many Muslims.
Fox News: ISIS-linked terrorists in Philippines take hundreds of hostages, most Christian, priest says
CNN: Philippines launches air strikes in bid to retake ISIS-occupied city
New York Times: Philippine Military Recovers 16 Bodies in City Besieged by ISIS-Linked Militants
Christian Aid: The Surprisingly Urgent Need in the Philippines