World News

Muslim extremists attack church in Philippines

A Muslim extremist group, primarily made up of teenagers, attacked a church in the Philippines, peppering the building and a statue of the patron saint with bullets.


Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reports that in December, the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a terrorist group based in the southern Philippines, attacked a parish church after conducting a raid on the town’s military and police outposts. After a fifteen-minute firefight, both the church building and a statue of the patron saint bore bullet holes.

Police and military authorities said the BIFF had also plotted to set ablaze St. Teresita parish church and the church-run Notre Dame of Dulawan high school in the area.

However, their attempt to burn the two church facilities was foiled by policemen and soldiers. BIFF is an Islamic separatist organisation that seeks an independent Islamic state for the Filipino Muslim minority, known as the Moro people, who live primarily in the Philippines’ Mindanao region.

Just before the attack on the church, around fifty gunmen from BIFF laid siege to the police station of Datu Piang and burned a police patrol vehicle on the 3rd of December.

The Philippines is a Christian-majority country, with more than 86% of the population professing the Christian faith. However, the country has seen escalating violence in recent years at the hands of Muslim militants allied with ISIS.

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