• Monday, Sep 16 2013
  • Written by  Arland Abubakkar

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) issued a statement on the current crisis in Zamboanga City. The Council is headed by Bishop Ephraim M. Tendero, D.D as its National Director and also Executive Director, Philippine Relief and Development Services.

The PCEC is made up of more than 30,000 congregations nationwide who follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

PCEC is the largest network of evangelical denominations, local churches
and parachurch and missions organizations in the country which seeks to
disciple the Philippines for the Lord Jesus, and thereby help establish a
society where peace, justice and righteousness reign; where everyone has a
decent standard of living; and where Christ is recognized as Lord and Saviour of all.

In the introduction of the statement, it said that, “We follow Jesus for whom loving one's neighbour is an expression of loving God, and for which reason he rejected the use of violence and retaliation 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—whether they be government soldiers, MNLF fighters, or civilians—who are equally valuable before the sight of God”, the statement said.

The full text of the statement runs as follows: “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 the peace of our land;
:: We call on His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III and Mr. Nur Misuari to order their respective troops for the 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 for the protection of 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 have contributed to this violence in order to protect their corrupt wealth-and-power interests, to repent before God and change your 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 reached between the Government of the Philippines and all the Moro fronts through a peaceful, inclusive, negotiated settlement.

PCEC continually supports the current Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with prayers that the on-going negotiations in Malaysia between their respective panels would not be affected by the crisis in Zamboanga, and that these GPH-MILF talks would result in a successful comprehensive agreement.

PCEC is earnestly praying that the people of the Philippines would quickly learn to settle our conflicts through dialogue and negotiations in the context of a culture of peace.

The statement concluded with a verse from the Bible which says that, "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)

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