Islamic fury over cartoon spreads to Philippines; mission unaffected.

By February 17, 2006

Philippines (MNN)–The global furor over Muslim cartoons spread this week to the Philippines.

The Muslim minority in the mainly Christian Philippines have held several rallies over the cartoons but there has been no outbreak of violence seen in other countries.

Yet it’s cause for increased concern for those who are serving in missions. International Aid’s Myles Fish says they have a project team serving six rural villages in southern Mindanao.

There’s no question they’re a Christian group. As for risk, Myles explains that, “We’re under the protection of a local sultan, who has opened the door for us and let everyone know that we’re there at his invitation, that he wants what we’re offering.”

That will protect their team from local ire. Although, he says, “Recent events with the cartoons and all of the uproar through all the Islamic world, has not, obviously, been a favorable development for us. But, we have not yet seen a direct impact.”

Fish explains that their teams build relationships with an eye cast to the future of outreach. They have sent a couple families who have moved to the area to live there. By living with the people they’re serving, they create a trust factor. He adds they are there as a result of their commitment to Matthew 25–‘serving the least of these.’

“We think that by providing these community-based healthcare programs, we are, in fact, doing that,” however, Fish continues, “but, we’re doing it with the hope that we’ll also be able to participate in Matthew 28, which, of course, is the Great Commission.”

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