Bishop: Militia sign of desperate folk in reb crosshair
Some Christians are arming themselves against extremists in Mindanao because they are getting increasingly “desperate,” according to Bishop Angelito Lampon of the Vicariate of Jolo.
According to him, the 300 Christians who have armed themselves and have taken the name “Red God Soldiers” did so out of frustration and fear.
“This is a kind of desperate attempt by these Christians who are being attacked now and then by these armed groups,” said Lampon in a post on CBCP News, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
According to the prelate, he sees the uprising among Christian communities as a way of calling on the government to address their security concerns.
“If the government troops can defend civilians whether they are Muslims or Christians, then I think it will not come to this,” added Lampon.
“If only there’s enough security for them, I think they will not take up arms. But if they feel helpless, I guess it’s their form of self-defense,” he said.
In an apparent show of force, the Christian militia on Tuesday showed their firearms, as they vowed to drive Moro renegades from their communities.
The group also burned a replica of a flag of the Islamic State and condemned recent attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said Lampon in the CBCP News article.
He added that the militiamen vowed to fight the BIFF for the sake of their families, communities, and in the name of self-defense.
Christians are considered a minority in some places in Mindanao dominated by Muslims.
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