(Photo courtesy of Kilab Multimedia)
(A Statement on UCCP-Haran)
Over the past seven decades (7) of its existence as a church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) had unswervingly been accompanying the poor and oppressed sectors of our society. It has never waivered in its commitment to deplore any forms of injustice committed against the helpless and the destitute. UCCP-Haran’s ministry to the Lumads in Davao is one of our concrete expressions of serving the least of our people.
As leaders of the UCCP, we see the reported possible filing of charges against UCCP-Haran as a gesture of harassment and intimidation against those who advocate peace and justice. It is a threat against the commitment of the church to do Christ’s mission of ministering to the oppressed and the marginalized.
UCCP-Haran has for many years now been serving as a domicile for Lumads who had been forcibly displaced by violence and attacks by paramilitary groups. It has served as a home for victims of oppression and unpeace. It has become a place of healing among them who have been distressed by intermittent harassment and violence committed against them. It also provides a venue for the schooling of Lumad children. But more than these, UCCP-Haran is a sanctuary of peace in keeping with God’s own purpose: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” — Psalm 72:12-14
Like any other advocates of peace, UCCP-Haran is constantly susceptible to dangers and threats. Yet our faith and commitment have never weakened.
We therefore declare our unwavering support to the Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area as they stand firm in their commitment to serve the indigenous peoples especially in their area through UCCP-Haran’s ministry.
WE also implore our entire constituents to extend support to UCCP-Haran through prayers, solidarity statements or any other forms of concern and support.
Let us stand united in doing Christ’s mission in these changing and challenging times!
In solidarity with UCCP-Haran,
THE UCCP COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
May 25, 2019
Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
Bishop Joseph G. Agpaoa
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Joel E. Tendero
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Jerome C. Baris
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Feliciana P. Tenchavez
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Ligaya F. San Francisco
Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis
Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop Jezer E. Bertoldo
Bishop Isaias L. Bingtan
Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Constante D. Claro
Bishop Gabriel A. Garol
Bishop Hilario M. Gomez, Jr.
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza
Bishop Jaime R. Moriles
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat
Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Rizalino Q. Taganas
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta
Please click this link for the downloadable file, UCCP Council of Bishops Statement on Haran