In the wake of recent defeats where ISIS has lost territory in Iraq, a new ISIS Philippines Video shows the execution of three men and proclaims Mindanao, the southernmost region in the Philippines, as an official “wilayat,” or state of ISIS. If Asian Islamists cannot get to Iraq or Syria, the video incites them to go to Mindanao to kill, bomb, and burn infidels. It closes with the execution of 3 men, “infidels,” shown in graphic detail.
Islam is the 2nd largest religion in Philippines, after Catholicism, and is primarily dominant in Mindanao, the southernmost region in the nation of Philippines. According to a 2014 Open Doors report, after many violent years in Mindanao, factions of the rebel movement and the central government agreed on creating an “Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao” (ARMM).
Even at that time, many Christians in regions of Mindanao were facing constant pressure and violence and there were concerns about the effect of this new autonomy. Especially affected by persecution in Mindanao are the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi where Christian converts are vastly outnumbered by a majority population of Muslims. While the Philippines is not listed on the World Watch List, which lists the top 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe, Mindanao is a region of significant persecution.
Sources: heavy.com and opendoorsusa.org
Father, we pray for our fellow Christians in Mindanao. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we stand beside them praying on their behalf before You today. Protect them, Father, from the violent anger toward Christians that is rapidly growing in the region. Grant them courage to meet each new day with peace in the midst of the danger that may threaten. Grant them wisdom and discernment as they navigate the political obstacles. And give them opportunities and a heart to share the gospel of Christ that peace might one day reign in this region and that the name of Christ may be “lifted up and highly exalted.” We pray all this in the name of Jesus, our Savior who hears the cry of our hearts, Amen.