Barnabas Fund, 28 January 2019
The attack on the island of Jolo, the capital of Sulu province, came 6 days after Sulu voted to reject inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of the southern Philippines.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police suspect it was the work of Abu Sayyaf, an IS-linked militant group active in the area for decades.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law agreement, voted for by 85% of the mainly-Muslim Mindanao island group, has created an Islamic sub-state within a secular, pluralistic and mainly Christian country. When first proposed in 2008, but ruled unconstitutional, Muslim armed groups responded violently against Christians, killing some and displacing others.
The recent referendum vote, approving the formal creation of this Autonomous Region, will permit further Islamisation and brings serious concerns about its negative impact on non-Muslims there.