On May 23, 2017, the Maute Group, an Islamic State group invaded the city of Marawi in the Philippines. From the very beginning, the Maute group targeted Christians, but they were not successful in putting a divide between the Muslims and Christians. Cardinal Tagle of Manila urges unity among all religions during this time.
07/05/2017 The Philippines (Herald Malaysia Online) – Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has urged Filipinos to be “attentive to signs of love, hope, [and] light” amid ongoing clashes between government forces and terrorist gunmen in the southern Philippines.
The prelate said attempts by Islamic State-inspired terrorists to make the conflict look like a religious war “will not succeed” because Muslims and Christians in Mindanao are helping each other.
“Whoever plans to divide Muslims and Christians will not triumph,” said the cardinal, adding that “stories of hope” continue to emerge from the conflict zone.
The prelate said he heard of stories about Muslims taking care of Christians whose lives are in danger or Christians helping suffering Muslims.
Cardinal Tagle was speaking on July 4 during a media briefing in preparation for the annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization later this month.
Some 300,000 people, mostly Muslims, have languished in evacuation centers around Marawi since May 23 when terrorists attacked the city, burning a Catholic church and a Protestant school.
The gunmen belonging to the Islamic State-allied Maute group are still holding about 100 hostages, including a Catholic priest and several Catholic church workers.