Philippines (MNN) — Twin terror attacks struck the southern Philippines this week, killing at least 15 and injuring more than 75. The attacks are believed to have been suicide bombings.
Joe Handley of Asian Access explains the situation. “In the southern parts of the Philippines, there are these terrorist groups, influenced by what is now the Islamic State. [They] have been influencing that part of the country, really with a kind of Islamic front, attacking the southern islands.”
Handley says these terrorist groups have ties to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and pursue the same radical agenda.
Christians are being a light in a dark time
The military is now saying it might instate martial law in the country to shut down further attacks. Handley says, “There are people who respond in fear and have locked themselves in. And of course, they have to obey the authorities. They may have curfews and things and they’ll follow those rules. At the same time, you have people that are trying to be a light in the midst of the chaos. And they will reach out to those in fear and try to console encourage and come alongside them.”
Handley says Filipino pastors are eager to share the hope of Christ with people during a frightening time. Many in the Philippines are more open to the Gospel right now, especially Muslims who witness the violence of radical Islamist groups with horror.
“Those that are more moderate Muslims tend to start questioning their faith. ‘Does my God really support this kind of thing?’”
Ask God to bring peace to the Philippines. Pray the government would be able to protect their people from attack and pray the Church would shine the light of Christ into a dark situation.
Pray also for the work of Asian Access. Handley says, “Asian Access works in a number of countries where persecution is at play, and the more we can help equip [Christians leaders] to face those storms of life, the better off they’ll be in the midst of those situations.”
Header photo by Somchai Kongkamsri from Pexels.