Christian leaders in Philippines have banded together to help rebuild Marawi, a Muslim-majority city in southern Philippines damaged by five months of occupation by terrorists.
The Christian leaders are calling on smaller Christian groups “and even the monks” to pool their strength toward restoring Marawi, said Jing Henderson, communications and partnership development co-ordinator of the Philippine bishops’ social justice council and Caritas Philippines. The historically peaceful city is located on central Mindanao Island, a restive part of the country, which for decades experienced insurgency from Muslim rebel groups seeking autonomy.
“For example, our expertise is in disaster risk reduction, psychosocial support; others would have expertise in shelter, livelihood,” said Henderson. “We would like to share these resources so that when we go on the ground, to these affected communities, then we’ll know what to do, when to provide the response and also how to provide it.”
On 23rd October, five months after Daesh loyalists began a sustained siege in Marawi, the Philippines declared the war ended. More than 1,100 people – most of them militant fighters – died in the fighting. Nearly all of Marawi’s 200,000 residents fled the city, along with hundreds of thousands of citizens from surrounding areas.
Picture: Residents who returned from evacuation centres walk past a bullet-ridden house believed to have been used by pro-Daesh militant group leaders in Marawi, Philippines. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters).