Category : Philippines

(WSJ) Terror Grows in Southern Philippines From Militants Linked to ISIS

Abu Sayyaf, once written off as one of the global jihadist movement’s also-rans, is gaining strength in the southern Philippines by chasing down high-value victims at sea and ransoming them off for millions of dollars.

After a relative lull for most of a decade, kidnappings have surged to more than 20 annually since 2014, when the group’s main leader Isnilon Hapilon swore allegiance to Islamic State.

That rebranding””and the accompanying brutality, including beheadings””has generated international headlines and raised fears that the island-dotted region could re-emerge as a hub for Islamist terrorists, as it was for al Qaeda in the 1990s.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Philippines, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Travel, Violence

(Part of a BBC series) The Roman Catholic Church and me: The Philippines

In the most Catholic country in Asia, The Philippines, the Church has played a significant role for centuries.

Recently the Catholic Church lost a long battle in a bid to prevent a family planning bill which aims to provide contraceptives to those who need it most.

Read it all and see what you make of the video. Please note that this is part of a series, there are also reports for example from Brazil and Ireland and Ghana.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Philippines, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Typhoon Faith

Months after super typhoon Hayaan destroyed large parts of the Philippines, many survivors say prayer got them through the storm and the difficult times afterwards. “The comment that I have heard is that God can send the cyclone here because the Filipino people are so strong that we can overcome even a storm this strong,” says Catholic Relief Services emergency coordinator Elizabeth Tromans.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Philippines, Religion & Culture

A Picture To Lighten Your Morning–Prayer over Medical Help sent to Phillipines

A World Medical Mission team prays over medical kits as they are assembled and shipped to the Philippines. Take a look.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Health & Medicine, Philippines, Spirituality/Prayer

(Reuters) Praying in ruined churches, Filipinos face up to massive rebuilding

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan flocked to ruined churches on Sunday, kneeling in prayer under torn roofs as the Philippines faced an enormous rebuilding task from the storm that killed at least 3,681 people and displaced 4 million.

At Santo Niño Church, near the waterfront in the flattened city of Tacloban, birds flitted between the rafters overhead as women moved through the pews with collection plates. At the end of mass, the Roman Catholic congregation broke into applause.

Rosario Capidos, 55, sat crying in one row, hugging her nine-year-old grandson, Cyrich.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Philippines, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

Anglican agencies, Churches rally to help Typhoon Haiyan victims

The mission agency Us is the latest in a series of Anglican agencies raising funds to help people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

In a statement issued today, the UK-based agency appealed for donations to help them provide food, water, sleeping bags and blankets, plastic sheeting and materials for housing.

“Donations will also fund a long-term rehabilitation programme that will include helping farmers to start growing crops again.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Philippines

Archbishop Justin Welby sends prayers for the Typhoon Haiyan survivors

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent a message of prayer and solidarity to all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

‘We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of thousands of lives and of the suffering of millions’ caused by the storm, Archbishop Justin Welby said today.

‘Our prayers are with all those who are traumatised by the disaster and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical attention.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Philippines, Spirituality/Prayer

In Philippines, typhoon survivors desperate for food; aid workers say progress is slow

As authorities in this typhoon-ravaged nation struggled Tuesday with a mammoth relief effort, survivors were becoming increasingly desperate, short on food and supplies and terrified about waiting longer for help.

A few residents of hard-hit areas scrawled signs with a simple message: “Help us.”

About five days after the once-in-a-century winds of Typhoon Haiyan gashed the central Philippines, some aid workers said progress has been too slow. Many who want to help are waiting at airports and air bases, hoping to catch rides from the short-handed Philippine military.

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Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Philippines

(BBC) Philippines devastation is 'bedlam'

The head of the Red Cross in the Philippines has described the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan as “absolute bedlam”.

Officials estimate up to 10,000 people have died in Tacloban city and elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

Rescue efforts are being hindered by damage to roads and airports.

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Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Philippines

(CT) How Churches Can Help Without Hurting After Super Typhoon Haiyan

Consider giving to local church organizations in the Philippines that are capable of handling donations and capable of empowering local churches, such as the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches or Philippine Relief and Development Services.

Affiliating with international aid organizations that have established relationships and resources (such as the Micah Network, Integral Alliance, World Relief, World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse) is another way you can ensure you will help rather than hurt.

Overall, our research has found that one of the most effective ways to help after a disaster is to make financial contributions to recognized aid organizations. Financial contributions make sure that the right assistance is available at the right time.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Philippines, Stewardship

(Reuters) Muslim rebel clashes spread to second southern Philippine island

Fighting between security forces and rogue Muslim rebels seeking to declare an independent state escalated in a southern Philippine city on Thursday and spread to a second island, officials said.

U.S.-trained commandos exchanged gunfire with a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) holding dozens of hostages in Zamboanga City, on the southernmost island of Mindanao, army spokesman Domingo Tutaan said.

The violence illustrates the security challenge potential investors face in the impoverished south of the majority Roman Catholic country despite a strong nationwide economic performance in the second quarter.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Philippines, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Father Shay Cullen's remarkable ministry to sex trade victims

DE SAM LAZARO: Over the years, Father Cullens’s People’s Recovery, Empowerment and Development””or PREDA Foundation””has sheltered and rehabilitated thousands of young women rescued from the sex trade.

[FATHER SHAY] CULLEN: Many of the girls are underage and young and available. On these clubs and bars, this is only the outer, the more legitimate looking trafficking of human beings, no, but the trafficking of minors, younger girls is secret, and it operates on a different system. It’s all done by cell phone, without any direct contact between the supplier, the trafficker, and the customer. They have go-betweens.

DE SAM LAZARO: Their stories have common threads: physical or sexual abuse in childhood and families in various forms of dysfunction and separation. In all cases, abject poverty underlies their child labor and prostitution….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Philippines, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Urban/City Life and Issues

African and Filipino Believers Seek ”˜Church-Planting Movements’

Pioneers, an evangelical mission movement, is reporting that thousands of Christians from Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines are asking to be trained in the principles of “church-planting movements” (CPMs).

Today, cross-cultural church planting is taking place in regions fraught with poverty and persecution. By necessity, the local church often takes root in its simplest form. In these places, churches are essentially groups of believers gathering in homes, under trees, or cafe back rooms to worship, pray, study the Bible and teach others to do the same. And it is in response to these realities that Pioneers has adopted the “church-planting movements” approach.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Asia, Evangelism and Church Growth, Nigeria, Parish Ministry, Philippines

(CNS) From dumpsite to department stores, a rags-to-riches dream in Manila

The evolution of the rags to riches started five years ago with a vision held by a Jesuit seminarian who was assigned to a parish at the Payatas dumpsite, northeast of Manila; about 60,000 people live around the dump’s fringe. Father Xavier Alpasa said he saw exploitation flourishing as he ministered in this deeply impoverished community.

Women were buying dumpsite scraps that scavengers picked and sewing them into rugs to be sold commercially.

“Middlemen were coming in and buying the rugs at 9 pesos and selling them to department stores for 35 pesos,” Father Alpasa said. “Then I was asking, ‘Where did all the profit go? Why is it all going to the middlemen? How come the women would only get 1 peso as a profit?'”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Other Churches, Philippines, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Women