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PHILIPPINES: PRIESTS ASSASSINATED; DUTERTE SIGNS B O L
by Elizabeth Kendal
|Toymaker, Dennis Mendoza, creates |
Duterte dolls complete with firearms.
|Vigil for assassinated priests|
DUTERTE SIGNS BANGSAMORO ORGANIC LAW (BOL)
On Thursday 26 July President Duterte signed the Bangasmoro Organic Law (formerly known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law). A formal ceremonial signing will take place in Malacañang (the presidential palace) on Monday 6 August. The BOL is the embodiment of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) brokered in March 2014 between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The GRP and the MILF both deny that the BOL will establish a state within a state, or more precisely, an Islamic State within the Republic of the Philippines. Many analysts, however, are not so sure. If it is achieved, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will (from 2022) have its own elected parliament. While the BOL guarantees religious freedom, it also enshrines Sharia law [Article X (Ten)] which will be enforced on all Muslims. Consequently, Muslims will actually lose many of their constitutional rights, including the rights to question and leave Islam. Christians, meanwhile, are supposed to believe the GRP's and the MILF's assurances that Sharia will in no way affect them.
|Stratfor map showing |
proposed BARMM (2014)
Click on map to enlarge.
RLPB 435, 'Battle for Mindanao far from over,' 6 Dec 2017
RLM (analysis), 'Bangsamoro Basic Law Looms Over Mindanao,' 11 Dec 2017
For the text of the Bangsamoro Organic Law click here: abs-cbn.com
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL:
* redeem the suffering of the Philippine Church; may the sacrifice of those speaking in defence of justice, righteousness and life not be in vain. May the Lord bring revival to the Philippines; and may those who pursue violence repent.
* protect vulnerable Christian communities across Mindanao, in particular those in Muslim-majority regions; may the Lord lead, guide and grant wisdom to the Church in Mindanao as Islamic rule and Sharia Law loom over the Muslim-majority regions.
* intervene in the Philippines to restore security and preserve liberty.
'First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.' (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
PRIESTS ASSASSINATED IN THE PHILIPPINES; DUTERTE SIGNS B O L
Three Catholic priests have been shot dead in six months, while a fourth has survived with bullet wounds. The targeted priests all openly criticised the violence and impunity being fostered by President Rodrigo Duterte. Meanwhile, President Duterte has signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which will place territory in the Southern Philippines under the control of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The imposition of Sharia Law will see Muslims lose their constitutional right to religious freedom and make Christian ministry to Muslims even more dangerous than it is already. Before the BOL can be enacted, it must first survive a plebiscite and a legal challenge. While many hope the move will bring peace, it is actually more likely to trigger conflict. Please pray for the Philippines and its Church.
She has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).