Tag: pcec-parcom

Jul 03 2011

PHILIPPINE EVANGELICALS ESTABLISH PEACE & RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) gathered 40 Christian peace advocates from all over the country for the First Evangelical Peace Summit, held in Tagaytay City last June 29-30, 2011.

Bishop Efraim Tendero, PCEC National Director, laid down the objectives for this meeting:

  • to raise awareness and facilitate a common understanding on the context and issues of the current peace negotiations in the country;
  • to gain information about the current state and social cost of the armed conflict and military operations in different regions of the land;
  • to be updated with the ongoing efforts of various groups—religious and civil society organizations—in monitoring and brokering the peace negotiations;
  • to form a peace constituency from among the Evangelical church groups and to formulate a plan of action for peace at the local, regional, and national levels; and,
  • to formalize the creation of a Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

I presented A Biblical-Theological Framework for National Peace and Reconciliation Movement, expounding a holistic view of the Evangel or the Good News which is centered on Christ—the Prince of Peace.   The biblical-theological framework can be summarized as:

  • Harmony with the Creator—spiritual transformation;
  • Harmony with our Being—psycho-social transformation;
  • Harmony with Others—socio-political transformation; and,
  • Harmony with the Creation—economic-ecological transformation.

PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) is also the major partner of PCEC in producing the 78-page Peace & Reconciliation Resource Manual that was distributed to all the participants and guests.

Dr. Alvin Ang, a professor at the University of Santo Tomas, lectured on the Socio-Economic Costs of the Armed Conflict in the Philippines.

Jurgette Honculada, Member of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front, gave an Update on the Current Peace Negotiations.

Various groups also presented their respective peace and reconciliation activities.

After a challenging biblical reflection on Christian Unity by Bishop Tendero, the Summit concluded with the formal organization of the PCEC Peace and Reconciliation Commission. The delegates went back to their regions and provinces with a comprehensive strategy and specific plans of action.

Susan May Granada, the National Coordinator of the PCEC Peace and Reconciliation Commission, headed the team that prepared and coordinated this very important event in the life of the Evangelical Christians in the Philippines.  Susan is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Conflict Transformation.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/07/03/evangelical-council-formalizes-peace-reconciliation-commission/

Jun 27 2011

NORTHERN MINDANAO LEADERS INITIATE PAR MINISTRY

Twenty-seven Christian leaders — bishops, pastors, church workers, local government executives, academics — participated in the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Ministry Orientation in Cagayan de Oro City. They represented various evangelical communities in Region 10.

This event is the beginning of a series of PAR Seminars to be held throughout this region in the next few months: PAR Seminar 1, Oroquieta City, August 4-5; PAR Seminar 2, Cagayan de Oro City, September 1-3; PAR Seminar 3, Malaybalay City, October 10-12.

Bishop Genesis “Bong” Udang convened these leaders with the support of the PAR Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). The Vice Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, Hon. Caesar “Ian” Acenas, graced the event and participated through the second half of the seminar. He publicly announced his desire to attend the whole PAR Seminar Series 1-3. The newly-appointed Provincial Administrator of Bukidnon, Mr. I. Provo Antipasado, was one of the participants representing his province. He invited PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) to serve as consultant in their province’s leadership development and vision-casting program. The rest of the participants are the chairpersons of their respective provincial, city, and municipal ministerial fellowships.

PBCI — represented by Freddie Abelitado, Matt Tiessen, Mei Solocasa, Kriz Cruzado,  Joji Pantoja, and Dann Pantoja — served as PAR Seminar facilitating team.

We welcome the Christian leaders of Region 10 to the growing Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Movement in our land!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/27/northern-mindanao-leaders-initiate-par-ministry/

May 23 2011

PAR COMMUNITY IS FORMALLY ORGANIZED IN LA UNION

Pastors and bishops from both the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) met to formally organize the Peace and Reconciliation Community of La Union Province (PAR La Union). They are joined by a number of academic leaders, Christian NGO leaders, local government officials, police officers, and youth leaders.

This organizational meeting is the culmination of a series of consultation and seminar sessions on Peace and Reconciliation which were facilitated by PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI).

Dr. Mariano Apilado, a native of Caba Municipality, La Union Province, and Bishop Jun Tarlit of Christian Leaders’ Alliance In Ministering La Union (CLAIM LU), guided the process of organization.

Union Christian College hosted the meeting and some of their senior staff serve as secretariat.

PBCI serves as peace education consultants and technical support team.

19 May 2011. San Fernando City, La Union Province.


 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/05/23/par-la-union-formally-organized/

Mar 10 2011

EVANGELICALS ENGAGE ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARIES IN A PEACE DIALOGUE

 

09 MARCH 2011. COTABATO CITY—The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the Peace Panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) held an inter-faith dialogue on the newly-resumed peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF.

Bishop Efraim Tendero (PCEC National Director), Bishop John Tayoto (Chairman, PCEC Peace and Reconciliation Commission), Bishop Genesis Udang (PCEC Mindanao), and Bishop Noel Pantoja (PCEC Board Member and General Director of the Conservative Baptist Association of the Philippines) led the 78 evangelical participants—pastors, church leaders, and mission workers—representing various Christian groups in Mindanao.

The MILF Peace Panel were represented by Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Attorney Michael Mastura, and Professor Abhoud Syed Lingga.  They were assisted by Mr. Mike Pasigan, Head of the Secretariat, MILF Peace Panel.

Bishop Tendero, in his opening remarks, referred to the biblical concept of the Image of God—the view that humanity, as originally designed by God’s creative will, though fallen into imperfection, is a reflection of God.  This biblical teaching, according to evangelical theology, is a healthy starting point for Christians to engage in these kinds of dialogue.  Because evangelical Christians believe that all human beings are created in the Image of God, we are all equal before the eyes of our Creator—the God of justice and peace.

The PCEC bishop also quoted a couple of Scripture passages emphasizing that peace and peacebuilding are crucial aspects of the Christian mandate because we follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace:

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

MILF Peace Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, during his opening statement, quoted Prophet Muhammad in his letter to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery at Mount Sinai in the year 628 CE:

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far: We are with them.  Verily, I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah, I hold out against anything that displease them.  No compulsion is to be on them.  Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.  No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything to the Muslim’s houses… Their churches are to be respected…

“Insha Allah (God willing),” Iqbal publicly declared, “the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will also honor this commitment in the same way the Muslims before us had honored this covenant once the Bangsamoro state will be emplaced in some parts of Mindanao.”

Iqbal further explained their intention for having this dialogue with religious groups like the PCEC: “We, in the MILF Peace Panel, upon the expressed go-signal from our principal, get out of our way and conduct dialogues with church people, a very important sector in the society.  While there is separation of Church and State in the Philippines…the truth remains that the Church is a very powerful institution that holds the spiritual side of every Christian and, therefore, can influence their decisions, especially in relation to the cause of peace in Mindanao…  On our part, it is a matter of necessity that we must leave no stone unturned if only to make the cause of peace succeed.  This is also a sign of goodwill that we also reach out to groups other than those within the sphere of our responsibility…  There is also need for other people or groups like you to understand the MILF proposal, whether what we want for ourselves signals the demise of other groups, or whether our proposal is framed on extremism that defies logic and moderation.  Or we want to live and let others live in peace, love, and harmony.  Please examine our proposal very closely.”

Attorney Michael Mastura, explained the MILF draft on the comprehensive compact submitted to the GPH on January 27, 2010.  He summarized the highly technical document in a very passionate way: “We are not getting out of the country, but the unitary form of arrangement is a thing of the past for the Moros… There is really a need for a separate Bangsamoro state without severing ties with the Philippines.”

Professor Abhoud Syed Lingga, who is also Executive Director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS), shared the concept of “a united country in the form of an asymmetrical state-substate relationship.”  He expressed his anxiety that GPH might not even consider this new political way of relating between two peoples.

During the question and answer period, majority of PCEC participants shared their concern about religious freedom, specifically the liberty of Christian minority to express their faith, under MILF governance in those parts of Mindanao where majority of the population are Muslims.  Bishop Genesis Udang of Cagayan de Oro City best represented this concern: “Would there be genuine religious freedom in a Bangsamoro substate?”

“Yes, there will be religious freedom,” Attorney Mastura answered.

Rev. Norman Naromal, Senior Pastor of Davao Bible Community Church, represented the second most asked question: “Would the Bangsamoro substate eventually lead to Bangsamoro independence?”

Attorney Mastura responded with another question: “What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing’s wrong with that,” replied Pastor Naromal, “we just want to see transparency where this peace negotiation between the GPH and the MILF is eventually going.”

After many more theological, historical, political, and economic discussions, the dialogue ended at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

The Mindanao People’s Caucus, led by its Secretary General, Attorney Mary Ann Arnado, organized this event.  Rev. Luis Daniel Pantoja, President and CEO of PeaceBuilders Community, facilitated the actual dialogue.

____________

:: MILF perspective of the story

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/03/10/pcec-engages-milf-in-a-peace-dialogue/