MANILA, Philippines – Martyrdom is "not a remote possibility" for Catholics in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao where a priest and several church staff members were abducted by gunmen last month, a Jesuit priest said.

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MANILA, Philippines – Muslim religious and political leaders in the Philippines have joined in the barrage of condemnation of the desecration of a Catholic cathedral by terrorist gunmen in the besieged city of Marawi.

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MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines called for an end to martial law in Mindanao, saying that it is "not the proper response to terrorist attacks in just one city on a vast island."

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MARAWI, Philippines – A week after Islamist militants kidnapped some 240 Catholics in the Philippines, a video has surfaced online showing one of the hostages, Fr. Chito Suganob, calling for the government to halt their military offensive in the city.

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MANILA, Philippines – Catholic bishops in the southern Philippines supported the declaration of martial law in Mindanao following an attempt by a band of gunmen claiming to be Islamic militants to seize a city in the region.

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MANILA, Philippines – Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi May 23.

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MANILA, Philippines – In the most recent clash between the government and the Catholic Church in the Philippines, authorities have banned hanging rosaries and religious icons in vehicles, citing safety concerns.

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Okay din si Duterte! (Duterte is alright!),” my dad said in approval. Gathered at the dinner table, talk of the boorish Filipino president peppered our family meal.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out

LINGAYEN, Philippines – The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have praised a cross-country march showing opposition to the restoration of the death penalty.

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MANILA, Philippines – The case filed against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court in The Hague is a "very good step" toward stopping drug-related killings, a Catholic bishop said.

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The head of the Philippine bishops' conference expressed concern over what he perceived to be a growing trend "of rebuffing church morals and doctrine" in his country.

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MANILA, Philippines – An interfaith delegation from the Philippines raised concerns over drug-related killings during a meeting with the special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings at the United Nations.

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MANILA, Philippines – Remember what Jesus' cross stands for, and don't misuse the Bible to justify the death penalty, said the Philippines' Catholic bishops.

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The Philippines stands poised to reinstate the death penalty after it was put on hold 11 years ago. The church in the Philippines, which has grown more vocal in recent months, continues to oppose the measure that passed the Philippine House on the third and final reading March 7 and is widely expected to move quickly through the Senate. This latest version specifically targets drug crimes.

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MANILA, Philippines – Caught in the throes of a brutal war on drugs, the people of the Philippines are increasingly looking to the Catholic Church to provide refuge and resistance.

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