By Pastor Glem Melo
- Despite of truce announcements, heavy armed clashes continue between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City.
- Rebels continue to hold at least 100 hostages.
- At least 52 people have been killed and 56 wounded.
- A total of 62,329 have been displaced.
1. Christians are caught in the crossfire. Open Doors reports:
The rebels attacked a community that was 550 yards away from a church that ministered to Sama and Tausug believers from a Muslim background. Seven communities had reportedly been besieged and about 800 people evacuated and sought refuge in the grandstands. But believers from a Muslim background belonging to the Sama tribe remained trapped in the towns of Rio Hondo, Arena Blanco, Mampang, and Talon-Talon. Reports from the ground indicated that the believers were held hostage by the MNLF, if not stranded. “They have gone without food for two days now,” said a local source, a Christian worker in the area, unnamed for security reasons. “MNLF has held hostage a local church.” Open Doors heard of two out of 10 Sama believers and their families evacuating safely out of Rio Hondo, a coastal village south of Zamboanga City. In the meantime, Tausug believers in Sta. Catalina, a nearby village, were also displaced, while a number of Muslim Background Believers were hurt from stray bullets and shrapnel.
Ask the Lord to protect them and use them as light and witnesses to rebels and their fellow victims.
2. Churches and ministries in the area are serving the refugees. Basic needs are lacking. Please pray that the Lord would provide relief goods and other necessities.