Believers from a Muslim background threatened in southern Philippines
Muslims in the Philippines, especially in the southern part where the majority of the Philippines’ Muslims live, are celebrating Eid’l Fitr today to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The Festival of Breaking the Fast or Eid’l Fitr is traditionally celebrated for three days by praying at the mosques, giving alms to the poor (which is part of the five pillars of Islam), and visiting relatives and friends to give and receive gifts.
Eid’l Fitr may be a marker of the end of Ramadan – the month considered to be the most peaceful in Muslim areas in the southern Philippines – but this event also marks the return to war or bloody clan feuds commonly known as rido.
A local Christian worker, Isagani*, is trapped in one of these feuds, and it’s endangering his life and his ministry with Muslim background believers in certain parts of Mindanao.
Sometime last year, a rido happened between Isgani’s family and the family of Isagani’s wife, Lila*, after his relatives were found guilty of brutally killing one of Lila’s relatives. The two families are from different tribes, and this incident has led to Lila’s tribe waging a bloody revenge against Isgani’s tribe.
Most of the discipleship activities that Isagani carries out are in or nearby the areas where Lila’s tribesmen live. Lila is very afraid for the safety of her husband, who she believes is also being targeted by this rido revenge.
Aside from the threat of the rido, Lila’s uncle has spread rumors that Isagani is working with Christians from a metro city and recruiting Muslims to become Christians, which is highly offensive among the Muslims.
This has shaken both Lila and Isagani, and they have no idea what will happen next. Isagani has decided to lay low from the ministry until the situation cools down, but he still hopes to visit his disciples when needed.
Isagani now lives in the metro city and his family plans to visit him there every month. A few days ago, he was able to meet with his family. Open Doors has provided financial help so that he could meet with his family.
· For God’s added provision for Isagani’s business – his income from this will be affected by these recent challenges, which will affect his ability to provide for his family
· For God’s protection for Lila and their daughter and all relatives affected
· For peace and comfort for Lila as she is very much concern for the safety of her husband
· That believers from Muslim backgrounds will continue to serve the Lord despite this situation and multiply rather than being crushed
· For peace and reconciliation between these warring families
· For salvation for those people who have caused this threat to Isagani and that they would have a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ.
· That God will use this situation to show His eternal glory and salvation to the tribes of Mindanao and the nations of the world.
*Names changed and places withheld for security reasons.