Detail of a map of the Philippines

Asia Pacific Forum issues Solidarity Statement for National Ecumenical Day of Lament, May 2

Co-chairs of the Asia Pacific Forum, of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member church, have issued a statement of solidarity for May 2 to be observed as an Ecumenical Day of Lament in the Philippines.

The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform have provided resources for the day, including:

The text of the Solidarity Statement is below and is also available in PDF format.

Solidarity Statement on the occasion of the
May 2 Ecumenical Sunday for Lament in the Philippines 

Respect and Protect God’s Gift of Life and Reject the Prevailing Culture of Violence and Death!
Let us all Pray and Work for a Just and Lasting Peace.

On April 28 and 29, 2021 the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) met in its annual meeting.  The APF brings together many North American churches and agencies who engage in mission and ministry with ecumenical partners throughout Asia and the Pacific region. APF members have long relationships with churches and ecumenical organizations in the Philippines, and in particular the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) as the ecumenical body representing Philippine partner churches.

During the meeting we received updates and discussed the human rights situation in the Philippines and the urgent need to respond, particularly in the context of recent events.

We received with great alarm the reports of ongoing threats to and the red-tagging of Bishop Hamuel Tequis of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and other church leaders including Bishop Reuel Marigza, the General Secretary of NCCP.  We are deeply concerned about the raids and the freezing of the accounts of the HARAN Centre in Davao City and the implications of this on its important work.

We are inspired by the courage of the churches, church organizations and other civil society organizations  in the Philippines and their continued work for just peace, at great risk, in this context of human rights violations and violence.  During our meeting, we also learned from church partners in the Philippines about the Ecumenical Sunday for Lament that is being organized by the Philippines Ecumenical Peace Council on Sunday May 2, 2021.   As churches and ecumenical organizations from Canada, the USA, and Australia,we express our deep solidarity and collective prayers on this important Ecumenical Sunday of Lament and add our voices in the call for the end to State-sponsored violence and harassment and the resumption of negotiations for just peace in the Philippines:

It is time for churches, from different denominations, to speak up and declare God’s love for all. Let us uphold the sanctity of life and condemn the culture of violence and death that has enveloped our country.

Co-Chairs, Asia Pacific Forum

Derek N. Duncan
Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific
Global Ministries of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ

Patricia K. Talbot
Team Leader, Global Partnership Program, and North east Asia Partnerships
The United Church of Canada

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