Last month my good friend, Bishop Ef Tendero, received a series of threats from "Abdul," who claims to represent Allah. Bishop Tendero is the President of the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches and the editor of Evangelicals Today magazine (where I have served as a columnist since 1993). Pastor Bob Lopez, director of the Asian Center for Mission was also included in the death threat.
These two men have been on the forefront of mobilizing and training the Philippine church to pray for, serve, and minister to Muslims, especially those on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Following are excerpts from the letters sent to Bishop Ef and Pastor Bob.
"To our understanding, you two are the heads of all evangelical Christians who are campaigning against us. Your missionaries have been masquerading as development workers and teachers doing literacy programs and feeding our children. You think we don’t know all about you? We’ve gathered materials from Christian websites. We are working to know who are your workers in Mindanao. When our info is confirmed, then we will execute Allah’s judgment.
We advise you to pull out your workers from Cotabato, Davao, Zamboanga, Tawi-tawi and Sulu before something happens to them. (We have Victory churches and campus ministers in these areas.) We warn you to stop holding seminars on how to convert our people.
We don’t want war. We want peace because Islam stands for global peace. But we cannot allow you to step on us. No, it is Allah’s will that we, defenders of the faith, fight evildoers and not allow evil to triumph… don’t be misled… war will be inevitable. Blood will flow. You cannot blame us.
Serious matters need serious steps. Stop provoking us. We might run out of patience. Do whatever you can to prevent blood from flowing. We have enough warriors to carry out Allah’s judgment. Once our leadership decides to declare JIHAD against all evildoers there will be no stopping it until all evils are gone.
Do you think you can hide from us? No way! I’m emailing from your neighborhood. Our leadership decided to bring the war to your doorstep here in Manila. Don’t be fools. Your necks are soft. You think these are hollow words? Just wait. You will realize these are true. Our data about your activities have been confirmed. When we strike, don’t accuse us of injustice. If you want full blown war, call the army, and we will make hell out of your misdeeds. Just wait and see."
Please pray for Bishop Ef Tendero, Pastor Bob Lopez, their families and others who are serving as missionaries, church planters, social workers, and campus ministers in the Muslim areas of the Philippines.