Philippine violence flares after peace deal collapses

By August 26, 2008

Philippines (MNN) — Brutal
fighting has flared up between Muslim separatists and military groups in
Mindanao.  

Peace was within the grasp of the
country until a proposed peace treaty between the Philippines and the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front collapsed.

That triggered the worst violence
in a decade in Mindanao. The
cancellation of an August 5 signing ceremony came after the Philippines Supreme
Court ruled on a challenge from the Christian population.

Mindanao Christians fear the
peace deal creates a Muslim state, which could worsen sectarian
violence. They believe the deal was
unconstitutional and they would lose the protection of their rights as Filipinos.

As the deal failed, the rebels
launched a series of attacks, killing over 30 civilians. The government responded with air strikes, adding
to a death toll the government estimates at 120,000 during the past 40 years.

The fighting has displaced as many
as 150,000 people, and there are 11 child development
centers assisted by Compassion International which have felt the impact.  

One of Compassion's projects has stopped
regular project activities until peace can be restored in the area. The children and their families from this
project are currently staying at evacuation centers set up at local schools.

Pray for the safety of the families and
the staff. Ask God to bring resolution between the fighting groups and
to restore peace to the area. Pray
for discernment as Compassion-Philippines looks to partner with new churches in
Marawi, Zamboanga and Sibugay.  

Pray for the
government to rule wisely, fairly and compassionately. Pray also for the country to
enjoy renewed stability. And, pray for Filipino children whose parents must leave the country to find work.

 

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