Christians in the south of the Philippines are concerned about an increase in Muslim extremism. The extremists are rounding men up and forcing them to go to the mosques. Some have disappeared after being taken to the mosque. A missionary priest said that Christians are “living in fear, terrified to speak out.” Although the Philippines is predominantly Catholic, some areas of islands in the south are home to some of the most militant Muslim extremists in the world. The past few years has seen a number of threats and attacks being made against Christians and churches in the region.
3/20/2017 Philippines (World Watch Monitor) – Christians in the Philippines are concerned at a rise in Islamic extremism in the country. A local church leader, who wished to remain anonymous, told World Watch Monitor about a recent meeting of around 3,000 Islamists on one island – the name of which he wouldn’t say, for fear of repercussions for the locals.
“The villagers – Christian or not – are all in fear. At night, the Islamists coerce men into going to the mosques. Some men have never been seen again,” the pastor said. “When they see you out on the street, they’ll come get you. One man who went to the mosque on 6 February never came back home.”
The Islamic State has been making inroads in the Philippines since jihadist group Abu Sayyaf declared allegiance in 2015. A video of an IS training camp in a Filipino jungle later surfaced online.