By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) on Tuesday appealed to President Duterte to refrain from issuing insulting statements against the Christian faith.
In a statement, the group said as the foremost leader of a nation that is by nature religious, Duterte should lead in fostering respect toward different religious beliefs.
PCEC national director Noel Pantoja said as firm believers in God and in the Bible as His inspired Word, they are immensely offended by the President’s recent remarks that God and the Bible’s teachings on creation are “stupid.”
“PCEC finds it completely inappropriate for our nation’s President to derisively curse at the God of the Christian faith, who is deeply worshipped not only by a majority of Filipinos but also by a vast number of people from all over the world,” he said.
The Preamble of the 1987 Constitution, Pantoja said recognizes the Filipino people’s reliance on the aid of the Almighty God.
He said PCEC’s objection to the religious insult of President Duterte also stems from the democratic principles of our country.
“In view of the diversity of faith traditions in our society, every Filipino is mandated to respect other faith convictions. History teaches us that religious intolerance can lead to animosity and violent conflict,” Pantoja said.
“PCEC therefore denounces insulting another person’s religion, which sadly, the President has on several occasions demonstrated,” he added.
The group then urged to President Duterte to hold dialogues with the leaders of different Christian traditions and build “better understanding” with a segment of our society whose primary concern is the spiritual and moral uprightness of the nation.
They also caled on all Evangelical Christians in the country to continue to pray for President Duterte and his administration that they may be able to lead our nation with the “knowledge, wisdom and righteousness” that come from God.