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Give Peace A Chance

October 25, 2012

By Sister Letty in the Philippines

On the Feast of St. Therese of Avila, the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a landmark peace agreement aimed to end the four decades of armed conflict in the Southern Island of Mindanao.

A framework deal, the MILF agreed to give up its quest for an independent homeland and instead agreed to power and wealth sharing in a new autonomous region in Mindanao.

The leftist Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA), National Interfaith network of Muslim and Christian religious leaders, Moro people’s organizations and civil libertarians and the Catholic Bishops in Mindanao welcomed the signing with guarded optimism. A statement issued by 11 Mindanao Bishops said the agreement “is not the end of peace-building, rather it is just the beginning of much hard work in cementing the meaning of sincerity, security, sensitivity, solidarity, spirituality and sustainability in various communities in Mindanao.”(UCANEWS)

“Blessed are the Peace Makers, for they shall be called Children of God.” Matthew 5:9

These are the words of Jesus from His sermon on the mount. Before I could work on building peace, I had to understand the conflict and know my identity. This is the process of self-discovery and of placing my shoes in the world of Bangsamoro. The challenge of acceptance by majority of Christian-Filipinos, however, remains. While these changes might allow the Moros to see themselves as part of the Philippine nation, it is crucial the Christian-Filipinos accept them as Filipinos.

May St. Theresa of Avila, a reformist saint in our church, and Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint beatified on October 21, intercede for us as we begin the first step to attain peace in Mindanao. We are inviting you all to pray for us and with us.

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