Statement on Aceh
On October 13, ten churches in Singkil, Aceh Province, North Sumatra, Indonesia, were burned down. It claimed lives, injured many, and caused thousands to flee. Many now live in fear.
The conflicts in this region are said to be racial and religious. These have been going on for many years. But the damage that they caused to places of worship and of refuge is said to be among the worst this time.
We urge everyone, including all our partner schools and institutions in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere in the world, our faculty, students and alumni, to be one in prayer. Let us pray for peace and mutual understanding and respect. Let us pray for religious and racial tolerance and for a fuller understanding of our existence on earth being rooted on our ability to care for each other. Let us pray that we are able to cross our dividing beliefs and traditions, to see ourselves in all others. Let us pray for healing.
As we unite in prayer, let us also consider being a blessing to our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters who are all in distress. Let us extend assistance in cash or in kind to them through our partner, the United Evangelical Mission, or other organizations like the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, to improve living conditions and alleviate suffering in the affected area.
It is true that the issue confronting Singkil Aceh may be geographic, but it rocks at the core of our humanity. It rocks at the core of our individual well-being and aspirations to live our faith in a manner that binds, cares and reaffirms God’s greatness in all, for all.
BEN S. MALAYANG III