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ICC Note:

An ISIS group, the Maute brothers, and government troops are into their fourth week of fighting in the Philippines. The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte declared the region in a state of emergency back in May. However, there has been a “ceasefire” temporarily to get aid in and assist civilians in getting out. The Maute group has particularly targeted Christians in their fighting. The number of Christians that have died is still unknown. Furthermore, in an attempt to increase security, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are patrolling the waters surrounding the war-zone.

06/20/2017 The Philippines (Faith Zette) – Christians living in the Philippines’ capital city of Marawi hid and fled for their lives as Islamic extremists threatened the safety of non-Muslims.

On May 23, militant groups loyal to the radical Islamic State surged the city. Since then, extremists have killed hundreds of people, according to reports coming out of the country.

“The violence erupted Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged allegiance to IS,” Time.com reported on May 24. “He is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.”

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in the Philippines and on the island on Mindanao, where Marawi is located.

“There have been previous reports of the militants threatening or killing Christians, but it is not yet known how many have died,” The New York Times reported from Marawi on June 17.

Three Christians recently escaped Marawi after hiding out in a basement in the city, The Times reported. As Islamic militants hunted them, the escaped Christians credit a Muslim employer for protecting their lives.

“One of the men, Nick Andilig, 26, said about 50 militants suddenly appeared in the neighborhood where they were working, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ and displaying a black flag,” The Times reported.

“They claimed to be ISIS out on a mission to cleanse the city,” Andilig told the publication.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte declared the region in a state of emergency back in May. The militants seizing Marawi belong to the Maute and the Abu Sayyaf groups, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

“Mr. Andilig said their employer hid the workers in his basement. When the militants reached his door, the workers overheard him arguing with them. ‘He told the gunmen that there were no Christians in the house,’ Mr. Andilig said,” The Times report added.

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