World Bulletin / News Desk
A community of Muslims in the Philippines has surprised their Christian neighbors by rebuilding a Catholic church destroyed during a clash between the government and rebels last September.
“We thought they were just looking for damaged mosques to rebuild,” Jimmy Villaflores, the head of the Santa Catalina village told Inquirer Mindanao. “We have not heard of any Muslim helping build a chapel before.”
The Christ the King chapel, which was originally built in the early 1980’s, was almost completely razed to the ground during the clashes, but now, after a month of work, it is almost entirely rebuilt.
Father Michael Ufana of the Saint Joseph parish praised “Esperanza” (Hope), which was formed by retired police Chief Superintendent Sukarno Ikbala and a group of Muslim professionals, for conducting the work and thus helping to strengthen community ties.
Ikbala said, “I did not want the general Christian community to look down on us as bad people because we were all victims”, adding “We do hope that in our own small ways of reaching out, something beautiful will come out.”
Another senior Superintendent by the name of Julmunier Jubail also rallied local Muslims to help.
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