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PHILIPPINES: Church Elder Brutally Murdered

PHILIPPINES: Church Elder Brutally Murdered

Fifty-two-year-old Perfecto Padilla, a dedicated church elder from Sultan Kudarat, Philippines, was brutally murdered by two Muslim men on 11 September at 6pm local time.

Brother Perfecto was resting outside his house in a hammock when two Muslim men came by on motorbikes and began to fire what was believed to be a 45-caliber pistol from approximately five metres away, witnesses said. He was struck by seven bullets in his chest, thigh and other parts of his body. The assailants immediately fled the scene.

Perfecto’s 12-year-old daughter Naomi ran to the assistance of her father, crying and screaming for help. A pastor named William was nearby, visiting a church member, when he heard the screaming and immediately went to provide assistance. Seeing the seriousness of the wounds, Pastor William borrowed a tricycle and took Perfecto to the hospital, but the wounded man died on the journey.

Perfectos’ two children Naomi (12) and Joseph (10) are left with no father. Their mother went to work overseas many years ago and they have lost contact with her. They are now alone and in need of assistance.

Our local VOM contact immediately visited the family after a call from Pastor William had informed him of the situation. When he met with the children, Naomi exclaimed, weeping bitterly, “Our father is a good father. He never did anything wrong. Why has this happened to him?”

“This district was once a peaceful village,” our VOM contact reported. “We always visited the church in the past and there were no close Muslim neighbours, but now Muslims have built a mosque very close to their church. They have been trying to force them to sell the property. There have been evacuations of Christians from this area because of the attacks on neighbouring Christian villages. This constant pressure by the Muslims appears to be part of a plan for them to try to claim more of the land for themselves. Perhaps the murder of this church elder has been part of the strategy and pressure put upon this small Christian community by those who are wanting the land.”

Please pray for Naomi and her brother Joseph as they deeply grieve for the sad loss of their loving father, and pray especially for their future. Their father had offered his small house for their pastor to stay in while Perfecto had planned to build a temporary church building beside the house, such was his dedication to the church and his desire to see more people come to know Christ.

Perfecto leaves a legacy for his children of his faithful commitment to God.
VOM will provide financial assistance for this young family to rebuild their lives and future.

This attack comes close on the heels of a bomb attack at a night market in the southern Filipino city of Davao on 2 September, which is reported to have killed 14 people and left another 67 injured. Among the casualties were a pastor’s 42-year-old daughter and her 12-year-old son, who both died in the bombing.

Source: VOM Australia

 

Egypt: Death of Young Christian Soldier Suspicious

Egypt: Death of Young Christian Soldier Suspicious

Bishoy Kamel, 21, was seemingly brutally murdered in an altercation with a fellow soldier while serving a mandatory 25-month service with Egypt’s security forces. The official report records the death as “suicide by hanging.” But due to the multiple wounds on his body, Bishoy’s family rejects this statement.

“His body bore signs of torture and extensive violence,” Bishoy’s father recalls. “His forehead was protruding from swelling. He had an injury to his nose; clear bruises under his arm, his right ear and his right cheek; and other bruises to his back and abdomen. If someone would hang themselves, would they also injure their underarms? Would they beat their own back and stomach?”

Bishoy’s death is one of five similar cases, stretching back almost a decade. Interestingly, each of these deaths, predominantly attributed to suicide, had involved a Christian. Much to the families’ anguish, claims of religious bullying were never properly investigated by the authorities. Bishoy’s suspicious death was the third case involving a Christian in army or police service during the year 2015.

Source: World Watch Monitor

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for Bishoy’s family as they mourn their loss; may they rest in the comfort that Bishoy is now safe in the arms of Jesus.
  • Pray the death of Bishoy will not be in vain but rather may somehow be used by the Lord for the spiritual good of many throughout Egypt.
  • Pray the country’s military leaders will ensure proper investigations take place in cases of violence among their ranks.

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