We, the members of Oikotree and all those who believe in Christ the Liberator, believe that each person is created in the image of God, and each person is precious to God. We affirm that the lives of the many trapped under knives and guns are divine gifts of God in creation. We strongly condemn the burning of the Dansalan College of the United Church of Christ Phillipines, Marawi City, and the Catholic cathedral Mary Help of Christians along with the Bishop’s house.
We also stand against the government’s use of ‘martial law’ to attack faith groups, which only makes life harder for the common people. The Government should be the servant of the people, but under ‘martial law’, government forces attack many commoners because they think people may be aware of situations in society. “The State is supposed to be the servant of the public, but here, by establishing martial law the State uses ‘law and order’ to suppress the public.” This we vehemently oppose.
We believe God intends that we celebrate life, life in abundance. Hence such atrocities are against the idea of life and creation. which is not only offensive but is also a threat to humanity. Along with the wider world, we affirm our solidarity with the people in struggle. We stand against terrorism, and governmental threats that cease to render justice to the people. The very faith affirmation that the whole human community is created in the image of God irrespective of our race, gender identities and faith expressions makes it imperative for us to reject systemic and personal attitudes of any kind of discrimination against vulnerable people. In particular, we stand in solidarity with Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao who thirst for a just peace.
We believe that God has called us to speak out for the people from the margins and not only to stand in solidarity with them but also to join in their struggle. We are called to strive for a society free of violence, abuse, trafficking, killing, abduction, and other oppressions, and to establish a society that is just and peace-loving, which respects the integrity of all creation.
We envision a society that thirsts for understanding, friendship, love, compassion and solidarity, and joins as the Body of Christ in their struggles to live out their God-given lives. So we appeal to the Christian communities to sojourn with people in the Philippines and especially with the people of the Dansalan College, Marawi, the Catholic Cathedral and the people affected by causalities due to the attack, to provide them with their urgent needs at this time of crisis and heed their cry for justice. We implore Christian communities to work with and help all those in need, and be the ‘Good Samaritan’s’ of our age in our context. We call upon the UN, interfaith groups, human rights groups, governments and civil society to condemn such atrocities that demean humanity.
We hope and pray that the embodied God will bless our endeavours to grow into the fullness of life, and to transform our faith communities into communities of justice, peace and love.
In Solidarity with the Victims