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Philippines: Bishop fears for life as Muslim separatists attack city

April 15, 2010

Following an April 13 Islamist terrorist attack that destroyed 70% of his cathedral, a Philippine bishop says that he and the other Christians of the city fear for their lives.

“It is the first time we are attacked so directly and with such force,” said Bishop Martin Jumoad of the Territorial Prelature of Isabella. “In the past, I received several threatening letters and intimidation. There have been other smaller attacks, but now it is very different. This could be a tragedy. I seriously fear for my life and the lives of the faithful.”

“I have prepared a pastoral letter calling on Catholics to stay in Basilan, which is our home, and asking them to remain calm, not to react to violence, and to pray for peace,” he added. “Today, a procession of people carrying candles as a sign of peace lit the city. Our hope must not die.”

81% of the Philippines’ 88.7 million people are Catholic. However, the territory in which Bishop Jumoad ministers is predominantly Muslim, with only 27% of residents being Catholic.

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  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Apr. 16, 2010 2:15 AM ET USA

    "However, the territory in which Bishop Jumoad ministers is predominantly Muslim, with only 27% of residents being Catholic." According to post-normal logic this does not matter.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 15, 2010 9:01 AM ET USA

    Once again, there is one religion in this world which has not and does not work and play well with others: Islam. I applaud the bishop's courage and prayers for peace, but those hopes for peace must always be accompanied by the temporal arm's threat of violence carried out in self-defense. Lay Filipinos have a duty to protect themselves and their families.