Mindanao in Peace Week

Muslims and Christians are joining hands to promote the culture of peace in the southern island of Mindanao, Islam's birthplace in the Philippines.

Mindanao in Peace Week

With peace prayers and caravans, photo exhibitions and book launches, Muslims and Christians are joining hands to promote the culture of peace in the southern island of Mindanao, Islam's birthplace in the Philippines.

"I joined this caravan because I see how noble its aim is," Nurrudin Jalad told IslamOnline.net as he attended the "Mindanao Week of Peace 2007" in Iligan City.

"What is badly needed in our home now is peace," he lamented.

"This is my way of helping find that long-lasting peace, making people understand how we can get out of poverty, of the many problems that we have if there is peace."

Themed "Building Bridges of Peace with Our Peace Officers", the week aims to foster a culture of peace, unity and harmony in Mindanao.

It serves as a venue for expression of peace aspirations in various forms and for convergence of peace initiatives in the southern island.

The week, which wraps up on Wednesday, December 5, featured peace prayers, parades, photo exhibits, conferences, book launches and several other events.

Photo exhibits showing peace and development efforts are currently displayed in the Islamic City of Marawi.

Other events lined up include the "Walk for Peace," "Caravan for Peace," "Songs for Peace," and "Convocation on Peace" in all elementary and high schools as well as colleges in Mindanao.

Muslims make up nearly 8 percent of the total populace in largely Catholic Philippines.

The mineral-rich southern region of Mindanao, Islam's birthplace in the Philippines, is home to 5 million Muslims.

Islam reached the Philippines in the 13th century, about 200 years before Christianity.

Peace-Making

Battered by a three-decade conflict, Mindanao has lost thousands of its sons and daughters -- both Muslims and Christians.

"Our island is so rich in natural resources. It is very rich in talents and skills," Jawali Hajim, a student, told IOL.

"But it remains to be poor and its people suffering because of the misunderstanding and the violence being waged," he regretted.

"I am here because I want to contribute a little to solve this problem. This very big problem."

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been struggling for an independent state in Mindanao since 1978.

At least 125,000 have been killed in the conflict.

In Davao City, a three-day peace camp was held to promote the youths' role in peace-building in the island.

The camp featured forums on peace and the role of youth in peace-building as well as an orientation on the culture of peace, said Nor Asiah Adilao, coordinator of the Mindanao Tripartite Youth Core, which is organizing the event with the Salaam Mindanao and Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference.

Themed "Youth Convergence for Peace", the event also aims to establish friendship and camaraderie among the tripartite youth participants and enhance the youths' skills and knowledge on various indigenous sports.

IOL

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Aralık 2007, 13:38
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