Mindanawons urged to "bring peace to everyone"

Reposted from Mindanews
Mindanawons urged to "bring peace to everyone"
by Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews
Friday, 20 November 2009 20:06

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / November 20) - Leaders of interfaith groups in Mindanao called on "Mindanawons to bring peace to everyone" and to "influence individual thoughts and feelings to bear the image of Almighty and Merciful Creator" as they celebrate the ninth year of Mindanao Week of Peace.

"In the name of God and Allah, we urge Mindanawons to think Mindanawon, feel Mindanao and bring peace to Mindanao," said the statement signed by Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao City, Hilario M. Gomez Jr., bishop of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and Hamid A. Barra of the Ulama League of the Philippines.

"This Godly gift (of bearing God's image} must always be in our minds when we think, in our heart when we feel, and in our behavior when entire Mindanao as one and solid community calls for a just and lasting peace," they said.

The Mindanao Week of Peace was initiated in 1998 by Peace Advocates of Zamboanga (PAZ) which was later vigorously promoted by the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) until it was mainstreamed by the national government as an annual activity in Mindanao.

"MWOP energized Mindanawons to express in many varied ways our need and aspirations for lasting peace. This variety of ways inspired by our respective faith and culture has repeatedly shown us that peace must begin with each and everyone of us," the religious leaders said.

In Iligan City and the rest of the Lanao provinces, the week of peace will be celebrated with peace conferences and rallies, and fora on women rights and environment.

Peace advocates will also conduct historical journeys, dubbed Lawig Handuraw Mindanao and Panaw Kalinaw, to visit conflct-affected areas.

Glengyl Umali, a volunteer of BUC-Mindanaw Tripartite Youth Core (MTYC), said a number of youths in Mindanao will conduct peace caravan and photo exhibit of peace efforts in Mindanao. The photos were exhibited in Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Kidapawan, Pikit, Midsayap, Dumalinao (Zamboanga del Sur), Zamboanga City and Oroquieta City. The exhibit will be displayed next week in Malaybalay, Marawi and Iligan .

Umali said members of the Mindanao State University-IIT Youth Chain of Peace (MYCoP) and BUC-MTYC in Iligan will host the first Song for Peace Writing Contest and essay writing contest at the Catholic Center Campus Ministry (CCCM) here. It will be supported by the Institute for Peace Development in Mindanao (IPDM) and Catholic Center Campus Ministry (CCCM).

The entries will be presented on November 28 this year at 3 pm at CCCM.

Peace Advocates of Zamboanga (PAZ) also organized Subanon Historical Journey at Lintangan last November 19 at Sibuco town of Zamboanga de Norte as part of Mindanao Week of Peace celebration.

Ria Razel Zamora of PAZ based in Zamboanga City and who documented the activity, said participants commemorated the peace covenant that was sealed between Muslim and Subanon communities centuries ago “to assure peace and cooperation between them”.

Timuay Noval Lambo, tribal chieftain of Subanon’s Gukom Sog Pito Kodulungan, said Subanon people up continued to accord high respect to the peace pact.

Fr. Angel Calvo, lead convener of the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), said this historical visit “is indeed meaningful as the tri-people gathered together and witnessed this historical peace journey”.

“We feel the sacredness of the place, of the history (peace covenant), and of the community,” Fr. Calvo said. They also unveiled a peace monument. .

“On this Hallowed Ground, the Subanon and Muslim communities since time immemorial sealed a covenant for peace among them,” the covenant partly read. “May Peace reign forever in this land and her people,” it added.

The group also visited the shrine (tampat) of Waliu Allah Attik, a Muslim missionary who reportedly maintained harmonious relationship with the Subanon during his stay in this village. The Muslim members of IRSMP led a du’a (prayer) and symbolic ritual in accordance with the Muslim practice.

Prof. Ali T. Yacub, IRSMP Muslim convener, said that such place where Muslims and Subanon converged “is historic and holy because it is where Muslims and the Subanons once lived peacefully and harmoniously".

The journey was supported by the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace, Subanon’s Gukom Sog Pito Kodolungan and Western Subanon Women Association of Zamboanga Peninsula (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)

http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7239&Itemid=282
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