Rise of Islamic Extremism Creates Concern in the Philippines

Mar 6th, 2017 | By | Category: News Posts

Muslim terrorists in the Philippines.

Christians in the Philippines are concerned over the rise of Islamic extremism in the country. World Watch Monitor sat down with a local church leader and he told them about a meeting of around 3,000 Islamists on one island.

“The villagers – Christian or not – are all in fear. At night, the Islamists coerce men into going to the mosques. Some men have never been seen again… When they see you out on the street, they’ll come get you. One man who went to the mosque on 6 February never came back home,” the pastor told them.

The Islamic State has gained influence in the Philippines since the jihadist group Abu Sayyaf declared their allegiance to ISIS in 2015.

On February 27, Abu Sayyaf posted a video of the beheading of a German hostage, after the deadline for paying the ransom expired.

According to World Watch Monitor, “President Rodrigo Duterte made it clear that he’s determined to crack down on IS’s presence in the country, but he’s also admitted to having relatives who might have pledged allegiance to the group.”

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The pastor told World Watch Monitor, “The other week I learned that a Seventh Day Adventist church constructing their building was threatened by the Islamists. Forty [Islamists] went to the church one night and threatened the people that if they don’t stop construction, they’ll burn the church down and force them to leave the areas. Because of this, Christians in that island and nearby islands are all on alert. They take extra caution when they worship. They don’t want to attract too much attention because they’re already being watched and questions. Their house-churches aren’t as grand as the Seventh Day Adventist church, so they’re less noticeable.”

The Philippines is on a list of “countries of concern” for Open Doors, a global organization that advocated for persecuted Christians.

Although the Philippines is 90% Christian, Open Doors reports that converts from Islam are becoming increasingly vulnerable: “Several reports last year showed that they have to keep their Christian faith carefully hidden from their families and that meeting with other Christians is very difficult, dangerous and at times impossible.”

“Weapons used to kill four people in an attack in Jakarta on 14 January 2016 were reportedly brought into Indonesia from the southern Philippines; this shows the worrying connections of Islamic militants across borders in Southeast Asia. Islamic State announced plans to create a province of their caliphate in the southern Philippines, and BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) and some other groups have already pledged allegiance to IS.”

 

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One Comment to “Rise of Islamic Extremism Creates Concern in the Philippines”

  1. Tom says:

    Article mentions a group called BIFF, without explaining this abbreviation.