Islamic State-affiliated terrorists in the Philippines have ransacked a Catholic church and posted a video of their destruction. The video comes just days after they kidnapped 15 people, prompting President Duterte to declare war on their organization.
Terrorists from the Philippine ISIS affiliate, Maute, have ransacked a Catholic church on the island of Mindanao and posted a video of their destruction. The organization has long sought to establish an independent Islamic state on the island and pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015.
In the video, the machine-gun armed terrorists smash a statue, tear down and break up a large crucifix, and rip to pieces pictures of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
President Duterte has declared war on the organization as well as other smaller ISIS-linked groups, but he has also sought peace talks with larger militant organizations across the Philippines. The military has been sent to deal with these groups. It is unclear how long the operation will take, or how it will be executed, or even if it can succeed. It is unknown if the U.S. is providing aid and support to help the military win.
The nation’s Catholic bishops have called for peace and prayer and the release of the hostages.
Had Christians tore apart a picture of Mohammed, or ransacked a mosque, the outrage would be incredible. It would be global and descend into violence. Christians have not called for any such reply to the terrorist ransacking of the church. Instead, they have asked for prayers, peace, and encouraged negotiation.
By Marshall Connolly