Video: Islamic militants smashing statues, torching Marawi church

In Photo: Amaq, the Islamic State news agency, released the video on the burning of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi by the so-called Maute Islamic militants.

A Catholic bishop condemned the destruction of a cathedral inside the Islamic City of Marawi in southern Philippines.

Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña said the destruction of religious symbols revealed the true intent of such attacks. “We are angered by what happened. Our faith has really been trampled on,” he said.

The prelate added he had seen the video of Islamic militants who have gone on a sacrilegious rampage and destroyed the Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Islamic State news agency Amaq released the video last Sunday, as the crisis in Marawi enters its second week.

The video also showed some members of the Maute terror group, which claims affiliation with ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq), yelling “Allahu Akbar” while smashing religious icons, tearing up images of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and burning the church.

“That is blasphemy! That’s unacceptable. It’s obvious that their actions are really out of this world. It’s demonic,” de la Peña said.

Prior to the attack, the prelate revealed they’ve received an information that the bandit group had been planning to “destroy and burn the church”.

“That’s really their plan even before, according to the raw intelligence report that we’ve been receiving,” he said.

“But we didn’t take it seriously because, for us, it was unthinkable that it’s going to happen in Marawi,” the prelate added.

The militants also abducted Fr. Chito Suganob, the vicar general of the Marawi prelature, and some staff of the cathedral and churchgoers at the start of the crisis last month.

Last week a video circulated online showing Suganob appealing to the President to halt military offensives in Marawi City.



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