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ICC Note:

The fighting in the Philippines has left over 400,000 people displaced and in need of immediate assistance. Christians have put together relief packages containing Bibles along with soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. However, their efforts were not received well. The former president of the Iligan League of Imams urged Christians to avoid proselytizing for fear of creating an even bigger divide between the Christians and Muslims from Marawi.

07/12/2017 The Philippines  (Mission Network News)  – In the course of covering the siege on Marawi, The Manila Times noted the relief efforts aimed at helping the Christians and Muslims fleeing the Islamic city where government forces are engaged in a fierce fight with the Maute terrorist group, now linked with the Islamic State (IS).

Nearly 400,000 residents have abandoned Marawi and outlying towns in the area. ‎More than 18,300 displaced people are currently being sheltered in 78 evacuation centers in and around Mindanao.

Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, first notes, “Displaced people are being helped by Christians.  They’re being given things that they need: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, but they’re also being given Bibles.”  Evidently, some of the relief packs also included magazines on the Bible story of the fisherman, which was also translated to the Maranao language.

The effort was not received well by all.  The former president of the Iligan League of Imams urged Christian groups to avoid proselytizing to refugees from Marawi because he said it could result in more harm than good.  Nettleton explains, “This imam is saying, ‘We don’t want these Muslims to have Bibles.  They shouldn’t have them; they shouldn’t read them.  This is going to cause unrest; it’s going to cause problems.  You Christians should not mix Bibles in with aid material.’”

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