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04/19/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Catholics in Marawi city in the southern Philippines still have no place to worship and celebrate Easter, two years after the devastating terrorist siege displaced a million people and killed more than hundreds.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, the only Catholic church in Moncado Colony, was worst hit by shelling and burning. While the bullet-riddled cathedral still stands today, people are prohibited from entering for safety reasons. Parishioners are scattered across different evacuation centers.

According to UCA News, Genesis Ranao, a Catholic resident of Moncado Colony who is a parishioner at the church, lamented that the evacuation center he is staying in now has no place to hold gatherings.

“We cannot even gather for a Bible study,” said Ranao, adding that the Catholics are also worried that Muslim evacuees might get upset. “We are not able to do it silently because we have to sing praises,” he said, adding that as a Catholic this makes him feel “incomplete.”

“It has been a year since I have gone to church. I have no choice. We have no church nearby,” he added.

This Holy Week, along with the other 23 Christian families in the evacuation center, Ranao will stay in his tent, silently praying and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
He stated that he will pray for his neighbors and all Christians around the world who cannot perform their religious rituals.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].