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ICC Note:

The Islamic Jihad continues in the Philippines as a Pastor who has been receiving death threats for months, and has been pressured to embrace Islam, was murdered along with his daughter on June 3.

Open Doors

SANTA ANA , CA (June 30, 2006) — While officiating at a wedding on June 3, Pastor Mocsin L. Hasim received a text message: “Pastor, you will die today.” The 47-year old pastor had been receiving death threats for months. He brushed it off. After the wedding, he and his 22-year-old daughter, Mercilyn, headed home by motorcycle.

Their bodies were later found near their motorcycle in an isolated area of Zamboanga Del Norte province in western Mindanao of the Philippines .

Pastor Hasim had been shot 19 times, mostly in the back. Mercilyn was shot five times.

There were no known witnesses to the gruesome killings, but police suspect that there were three gunmen, possibly new members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a Muslim rebel group with a long history of armed conflict against the national government. One of the pastor’s nieces noted, “Also, some Muslim extremists in the area were inviting him to embrace Islam once again, but he refused.”

Pastor Hasim had received death threats in the months leading up to the murder. During a gift-giving activity in one community, a Muslim approached him and told him to stop what he was doing, lest he be killed. Despite these threats, he remained unmoved and continued his activities, even starting a radio ministry. Mercilyn accompanied him during most of his work.

Pastor Hasim was affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of the Philippines . For the last 10 years, he had been reaching out to the Kalibugan tribe, a mix of the Subanen and other Muslim tribes. They are considered to be the fiercest among the 13 Muslim tribes in the Philippines .

Pastor Hasim had shown the Jesus film in various places. He was bold in sharing the gospel to his own people.

Evelyn, his wife, vividly recalled a particular incident the day before he was shot:

“We were preparing for the inauguration of our day care center. The day before he was killed, we conducted a census in the area to get the number of children who are interested in enrolling. After a hard day’s work, when we returned home, we noticed suspicious men spying our house. The next day, my son said he saw three men moving about the perimeter of our house.”

After the initial murder investigation, the police took no further action. “They didn’t even provide protection for our family after the incident when we transported my husband’s and my daughter’s remains to our hometown,” she said.

Pastor Hasim and Mercilyn were laid to rest on June 11.

Due to recent threats, Evelyn and her three children – two sons and a daughter – have moved to an undisclosed place to recover emotionally and spiritually. Open Doors has extended financial help to the family. Other Christian organizations have also sent aid.

“This is just another tragic reminder for us in the West of the high cost many Christians around the world pay for their faith in Jesus Christ,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “Please join me in prayer for Pastor Hasim’s family. Pray for believers like Pastor Hasim and Mercilyn who stand strong in their faith.”

Prayer Points:

1. For the widow – Evelyn suffers from diabetes and urinary tract infections and was recently hospitalized. Please pray for God’s healing and protection upon her. As soon as she is able, she desires to put up a small store to earn a living. Let’s ask for God’s strength and wisdom to guide her in this endeavor.

2. For the children – continue praying for God’s comfort to be with them. Also, pray for them to catch up quickly in their school lessons.

3. For the family in general – they are still receiving threats from the assassins. Pray for God’s protection and for angels to be with them wherever they go.