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United Methodist Church sheltering farmers and protesters in the Philippines

. 1 min read

More than 100 people joined the vigil in front of the Central United Methodist Church on April 3, to pray for farmers and Lumads who were asking for rice and protesting treatment from the government.

By Gladys Mangiduyos and Kathy L. Gilbert
April 4, 2016 | MANILA, Philippines (UMNS)
A United Methodist Church compound is giving sanctuary to 4,000 farmers and indigenous people after a protest for food relief turned deadly on April 1.
Three protesters were killed and more than 100 injured when security forces fired on the crowd blocking a major highway. Protesters poured into the Spottswood Methodist Mission Center for refuge and the compound is now surrounded by police. Police conducted a search of those at the Spottswood Methodist Mission Center on April 2 but no guns were found.
Manila Area United Methodist Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan condemned the search and threats to Davao Episcopal Area Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco in an April 6 statement.
Juan said Francisco is “being threatened and harrassed for harboring ‘illegal protesters.’ ” He called on United Methodists everywhere to support the farmers and uphold them in prayer. 
Juan led a candlelight ceremony on April 3 to pray for the farmers and Lumads, an indigenous people of the Philippines. More than 100 people joined the vigil in front of the Central United Methodist Church.