Religion and the Peace and Environmental Movement in Southern Philippines

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Maria Cecilia MEDINA, Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Philippines
The paper examines the role of religious organizations such as the Peace Advocates Zamboanga, a Catholic organization and the Interreligious Movement for Peace composed of persons with varied religious affiliations in the peace and environmental movement in Southern Philippines. These organizations have emerged to address the increasing violence gripping Zamboanga City and Western Mindanao since the 1990's. The most recent conflict last September 9, 2013 was an armed confrontation between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari Faction which lasted for 23 days and paralyzed the city and displaced thousands. In a multi-cultural city composed of Christians, Muslims and indigenous communities, these organizations and religious leaders have helped heal the wounds of conflict among communities and have promoted the care for mother earth issuing statements to the media, visiting and assisting evacuees and marginalized communities, and by actively promoting peace education in schools and organizing the city's annual week of peace celebrations among others.