Christians in the Philippines are plagued by a militant Islamic insurgency on the southern island of Mindanao that is determined to set up an Islamic state after the pattern of the former ISIS domains in Iraq and Syria, in which the Christian population was decimated. 

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in the Philippines, see here.

“Bombing of Catholic mass in southern Philippines leaves four dead,” Guardian, December 3, 2023:

Philippine forces were on high alert after a bomb killed four people and wounded many more during a Catholic mass in a university gymnasium in the south of the country, an attack the authorities called Islamist terrorism….

The blast in Marawi, a city besieged by pro-Islamic State militants for five months in 2017, followed the killing of 11 combatants in a military operation on Friday in Maguindanao del Sur 200km away….

Regional military commander Maj Gen Gabriel Viray III said at least four people were killed by the explosion, including three women, and 50 others were brought to two hospitals for treatment of mostly minor injuries.

The explosion caused panic among dozens of worshippers and left the victims bloodied and sprawled on the ground, said Taha Mandangan, the security chief of the sprawling state-run university campus.

At least two of the wounded were fighting for their lives, Mandangan said.

Army troops and police immediately cordoned off the area and were conducting an initial investigation and checking security cameras for any indication of who may have been responsible for the attack. Security checkpoints were set up around city.

Viray called the attack “a terror act”, speaking to reporters as explosive disposal experts were deployed….

The Philippine military killed 11 militants on Saturday, including members of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines group, in an operation that recovered 10 high-powered firearms and three explosive devices….