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Bibles in relief packs earn ire of Muslims, Catholics

By: Ali G. Macabalang & Leslie Ann G. Aquino

ILIGAN CITY – Leaders of both Muslims and the Catholic church blasted an insensitive attempt to create religious divisiveness in war-torn Marawi.

This after a group distributed packs of supposed relief goods to the mostly Muslim evacuees affected by the Mindanao siege where Bibles and Christian magazines were also included.

Christian moralist Abelardo Moya of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) said the act of distributing Bibles to Muslim evacuees is improper as it “transgresses some cultural and religious sensibilities.”

He noted that various Christian denominations have been doing humanitarian relief work in the same area, “even earning the trust of Maranaos to prepare food for them but never had such thought entered their minds.”

“This must be dealt with soonest. Now that this has happened, it is best seen as an opportunity to dialogue,” Moya added.

Retired Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla said attempts to proselytize traumatized and vulnerable Muslim refugees shows lack of respect and calls into question the sincerity of one’s charity.

“If you want to help, then give only the needs of the Muslims… the basic needs like clothing, food, water, among others,” Capalla said in a CBCP News post.