Christians and Muslims seek healing together in Marawi

Duyog Marawi

“Duyog Marawi,” is a Catholic aid and healing programme in the war-torn city of Marawi in the Philippine island of Mindanao.

It was launched by the Prelature of St. Mary in Marawi City on the 100th day of the Marawi conflict, even as families awaited word on the fate of some 40 hostages, including the prelature’s vicar-general, Father Teresito Soganub.

Towns around the main war zones remain dangerous, but more than a hundred Christian and Muslim volunteers showed up for the first phase of the aid and rehabilitation programme, a partnership between the prelature and Redemptorist missionaries.

“We couldn’t wait for the Maute group to be defeated before beginning the process of healing peoples and communities; bridging the gaps, sharing our dreams and reconstructing our lives,” Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Pena said.

“Duyog” is a Visayan term for accompaniment, often understood as the act of playing a musical instrument for songs and dances and the basis for choral harmonies.

The Duyog Marawai Facebook page speaks about their hope:

“… the people will look at this experience of losing everything as an opportunity to start anew and build Marawi City to become a model community of sustainable collaboration among Maranaos of all classes and clans and peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.

“We are given that rare opportunity to prove to the world that it is possible – difficult, arduous, and exhausting maybe, but possible!

“And we will document it at every step of the way and tell that story to the rest of the world especially to the Christians.”

Duyog Marawi will focus on health and wellness, healing and reconciliation, communication and protection of vulnerable sectors.

The programme will involve ulamas (Islamic scholars) and imams (religious leaders) in line with the thrust of the Catholic Church to promote interreligious dialogue, said dela Pena.

“We heard a different mission calling us to definitive action — to ensure that people’s faith and culture are paid attention to and factored into the rebuilding process of Marawi and to ascertain that people’s rights are protected and upheld.

“We are conscious that the mission of rebuilding the city belongs to the people of Marawi,” he added.

“We, as the representative of the universal Catholic Church, are here to support and accompany them all the way.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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