10/22/2018 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – A year after Islamic militants were dispersed from the city of Marawi in the Philippines, thousands of Christians remain displaced. Although the city has been liberated, most homes have been turned to rubble, with the few that remain intact bearing bullet holes and graffiti as scars of war.
The conflict took place on May 23, 2017 and ended on October 23, 2017. In a battle that ensued for five months between militant extremists and government forces, 40 percent of the city was destroyed and 98 percent of the population was displaced. In the fighting Christians were particularly targeted and taken as hostages by the militant forces.
Even months after the liberation of the city, many Marawi residents have not returned home. With much of the city turned to rubble and debris, it is estimated to cost at least 1 billion dollars to rebuild the city.
Catholic priest Fr. Torres remains positive and says that “even if the extremists try to ‘clean’ Marawi of Christians, Marawi will always have a Christian population”. Currently around 75 Christian families live in temporary shelters around the city and over 35, 000 displaced Catholics are being hosted by the prelature.
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com.