Church leaders decry violence against Lumads

Translate Page

United Methodist leaders decried violence against the Lumads, an indigenous people who have been the victims of genocide and human rights violations for the past several months.

The Lumads, who are from the southern Philippines, have been caught in the middle of combat between government soldiers and paramilitary rebels. Reports have surfaced of entire communities of Lumads being displaced.

The struggle escalated in September with the murders of three Lumads, including a school teacher. Since then, Lumad activists have camped out in Metro Manila, protesting the atrocities committed against their communities.

The Nov. 15 Lumad Solidarity Day, led by the Manila Episcopal area of the Philippines Central Conference, was held at Redemptorist Baclaran, a church compound in Parañaque, Metro Manila, where the Lumads are being housed temporarily. About 50 United Methodist leaders attended.

Noma P. Dollaga, a United Methodist deaconess, expresses solidarity with the Lumads. Photo courtesy of Tentang P. Dollaga

Noma P. Dollaga, a United Methodist deaconess, expresses solidarity with the Lumads. Photo courtesy of Tetang P. Dollaga.

Message of solidarity

The Rev. Joey Umali, district superintendent of the North Bulacan district, delivered a message of solidarity lending support to the Lumads’ journey for peace and justice. Admonishing people to hate robbery and wrongdoing, Umali cited Micah 6:8: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Umali gave emphasis as well on the feeding of the 5,000. 

“Why do we have to feed many people? How were they able to feed the many people?” he asked. “When they offered it to God, the Lord provided, and people couldn't fathom how the food have multiplied! We have to bring to the Lord everything, including the struggles of our Lumad brothers and sisters.” 

In the midst of despair and upon hearing the question, ‘Where is God in all these struggles?’ Umali said, “All believers are bid to fight for justice.”

The College of Bishops and the Board of Church and Society of the Philippines Conference issued a statement that was read at the event, calling for a halt to the killings, for prosecution of the perpetrators and to allow the Lumads to return to their land to live in peace.

United Methodist statement

The statement quoted from the United Methodist Social Principles, saying that war crimes and genocide are “destructive of humanity, promote impunity, and therefore must be unconditionally prohibited by all governments and shall never be tolerated by the Church.”

The Lumads were provided a sack of rice and vegetables and their datu, the title for chief, expressed his gratefulness:

"We are deeply touched of this expression of solidarity, and we thank the United Methodists,” he said. “We felt that we are not alone on this struggle; we discovered that the Church is with us," said Datu Dulphing Ogan, who is the secretary general of the Kalumaran, the confederation of different indigenous tribes in Mindanao.   

Mangiduyos is a correspondent for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: Vicki Brown, news editor, [email protected] or 615-742-5470.

Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at

Sign up for our newsletter!

Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton, United Methodist Communications. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Why church should care about press freedom

World Press Freedom Day is a time to reflect on the importance of newsgathering and the ties that connect freedom of expression and religion.
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

World Press Freedom Day and the church

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.

Wesley’s Chapel makes history relevant today

While still welcoming visitors who want to see the church that Wesley built, the current congregation is firmly focused on the denomination’s presence in the community and contributions to global Methodism today.


United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

©2023 United Methodist Communications. All Rights Reserved