Ruthless Islamists in the Philippines bent on establishing Islamic hegemony spread terror and force Christians to worship in secret

Since 1991, a jihadist group known as Abu Sayyaf (literally, “bearer of the sword”) has been fighting to establish an Islamic state in the Philippines. No tactic too violent, the group routinely kidnaps, rapes and detonates bombs in the name of Allah and his prophet. In 2015, they openly pledged their allegiance to ISIS.

At the end of February, they decapitated a German hostage in the Sulu area of Mindanao Province, proudly publicizing a video of the beheading. The Filipino military believes that Abu Sayyaf currently holds 26 hostages – thirteen Vietnamese, seven Filipinos, a Dutch national, a Japanese, two Indonesians and two Malaysians, reported Reuters.

Government troops conduct checkpoint operations for the German kidnap victim [REUTERS/Nickee Butlangan]

Although the Philippines is a Christian-majority nation, in the Muslim-dominant southern province of Mindanao another violent Islamist group, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) wants to rule Mindanao as an independent Islamic state.

One pastor told World Watch Monitor about the fear permeating one nearby area, home to about 3,000 zealous Muslims. “The villagers – Christian or not – are all in fear. At night, the Islamists coerce men into going to the mosques. When they see you out on the street, they’ll come get you. One man who went to the mosque on February 6th never came back home.”

The pastor added that Muslims have threatened to burn down churches, and that in certain areas Christians worship under the radar in house-churches, trying to attract as little attention as possible.

“ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” — James 1:5

Pray —

70-year-old German hostage Jurgen Gustav Kantner was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf after a $600,000 ransom was not met. (Photo: AP)

4/8 – As the tide of violent Islam rises in the Philippines, pray that many will see the true nature of this false religion and seek the only Savior who made peace by His own blood.

4/9 – Pray that in the midst of a dark valley of fear and threats Filipino Christians will experience God’s peace that passes all understanding and extol the praises of the King!

4/10 – Pray for Filipino Christians to lay their fears and doubts at the foot of the Cross where Jesus defeated the law of death forever and paved the way for everlasting joy.

4/11 – Pray for a growing zeal for the propagation of the good news of Jesus Christ by the Filipino Church.

4/12 – Pray for God to be continuously glorified in the lives of His disciples and in His Church in the Philippines.

4/13 – Ask God to comfort the family of Jurgen, the German hostage who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf.

4/14 – Ask God to steady the hearts of Filipino Christians and help them to persevere in the midst of increasingly trying circumstances.

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