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Christians ‘face growing extremist persecution’ in mainly Muslim part of Philippines

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Christians in a predominantly Muslim part of the mainly Catholic Philippines are targets of extremist Islamist groups and face persecution similar to their fellow believers in the Middle East, says a missionary priest.

“The situation is a worrying one,” said Father Sebastiano D’Ambra in a interview with Aid to the Church in Need, referring to the anti-Christian attacks that took place on Christmas Day in the south of Mindanao.

In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Father Sebastiano D’Ambra highlighted fears of radicalization in parts of the Philippines after 14 people were killed during attacks on Christmas Day.

The attack included a grenade being thrown at a chapel.

“It is difficult to establish for certain whether the violence was directed specifically against Christians, even though everything points to the fact that this was the case.

“Without doubt our brothers and sisters in the faith are one of the targets of these fundamentalist groups,” said D’Ambra who belongs to the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (P.I.M.E.) congregation.

“In some areas of Mindanao we are experiencing exactly the same thing as is happening in Iraq,” said the Italian priest who has been in the Philippines nearly 50 years and is an experienced missionary. Read More

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