- May 26, 2020
Christians and Muslims prayed in the ruins of a church and a mosque in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, which was devastated by a five-month siege in 2017.
Celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle washed the feet of a priest who had been held captive for months and the parents of a slain Filipino migrant worker.
A Filipino Catholic priest taken hostage last year by Islamic State group-linked militants recounted Friday how military airstrikes helped crush an extremist siege, but said a Muslim autonomy deal is crucial in preventing new bloodshed.
For the first time since May 23, 2017, Bishop Edwin de la Peña on Thursday prayed inside his cathedral in Marawi City, located in the southern Philippines.
The national police in the Philippines want President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law, which expires on Dec. 31, to allow them to continue offensives against Muslim militants who eluded capture during a five-month siege of southern Marawi city.
The Philippine National Defense said in September that rebuilding the city of Marawi would cost $1 billion. So far, Christian groups have put $550,000 — half of it from Caritas Philippines — into their response. Donations from Canada, China, Germany, South Korea and other countries as well as pledges from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the European Union, the World Bank and other entities have started to arrive.