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Persecuted believers in the Philippines gather after ISIS attack

December 19, 2023 by Abigail Hart in Persecuted Christians in the Philippines

Although much of the Philippines is Christian, Marawi City in Mindanao—where the bombing occurred—is nearly an entirely Muslim city. The island has a long history of religious and ethnic conflict, but tensions have recently risen as extremist ideas from abroad have taken hold over a small, radical minority.

We reached out and spoke with a local volunteer who served the survivors of the bombing in its immediate aftermath. She shared, “Many of the students of the university were so afraid. We took them to a nearby city so they could stay somewhere where they would feel safer.”

After the bombing, many of the students expressed great fear and anxiety at the idea of returning to Marawi city and the university. The university now faces the challenge of ensuring an environment that both students and their parents feel confident is secure, while encouraging students not to give up on their education.

The bombed church has met again since the event, but it was only attended by a handful of congregants. Other churches continue to meet in Mindanao, but there is definitely a sense of fear now as people gather.

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“Meeting in gyms and other rental places has been shown here to not be a safe option for Christians to attend,” shares Joshua, a local faith-based, non-profit leader. “Although our individual faith is important, it’s so important that we can gather to worship as a community.”

When asked how we can serve the church in Mindanao, Joshua emphasized, “Prayer is a powerful part of healing. We ask for prayer from our brothers and sisters.”

A verse Joshua is keeping close to his heart is Romans 12:21, which says, “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Although the Christian community in Mindanao has faced extreme persecution, they are still gathering and worshipping. They won’t let the hateful act of others disrupt their faith.

Join us in prayer now for Joshua and the Christians of Mindanao.

Father God, we come before You with the Christians of Mindanao on our hearts. We ask You bless them with safety and security as they worship—bless them with supernatural peace so they can return and worship You confidently. We ask You be with the impacted students, that they will find the courage to go back to school and feel safe. We ask You please bless those who lost loved ones in the bombing with healing and comfort. And we ask You bring restoration to Marawi City—let many come to know You there. Amen.

About the author
Tim Dustin writes for Global Christian Relief and covers stories of Christian persecution in the Philippines and around the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at

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