Conflicts best resolved via peaceful means
The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), made up of more than 30,000 congregations nationwide, follows Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who sees loving one’s neighbor as an expression of loving God, for which reason He rejected violence and vengeance even against one’s enemies.
We are thus convinced that conflicts are best resolved through peaceful means. We believe that the use of violence in Zamboanga City would only claim and injure the lives of people—be they government soldiers, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters, or civilians—who are equally valuable in the eyes of God.
As we express our solidarity with the people of Zamboanga:
• We call on all the constituencies affiliated with PCEC and all other Christian churches and mission agencies to pray for peace in our country;
• We call on President Aquino and MNLF Chair Nur Misuari to order their respective troops to come to immediate ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities;
• We call on the evangelical churches, ministry organizations and relief agencies to work together with all humanitarian agencies to protect civilians and to provide emergency relief to people affected by this violence;
• We call all parties to immediately engage in a peaceful dialogue to resolve these conflicts;
• We call on other parties who have caused, or may have contributed to this violence in order to protect their corrupt wealth-and-power interests, to repent before God and change their ways. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
PCEC prays that sustainable peace, based on justice, would be attained through a peaceful, inclusive, negotiated agreement between the Philippine government (GPH) and all the Moro fronts.
PCEC supports the current peace talks between the GPH and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with prayers that the ongoing negotiations in Malaysia between their respective panels will not be affected by the crisis in Zamboanga, and that these GPH-MILF talks will result in a successful comprehensive agreement.
PCEC is earnestly praying that the people of the Philippines will quickly learn to settle conflicts through dialogues and negotiations in the context of a culture of peace.
“Now may the Lord of Peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (II Thess. 3:16 NIV)
—BISHOP EFRAIM M. TENDERO, DD,
national director, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, and executive director, Philippine Relief
and Development Services, [email protected]
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