“Pray for long-lasting peace” is this year’s Mindanao week of Peace theme

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 Nov) – This year’s theme for the Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP) is “We pray for long-lasting peace in Mindanao. Give, Share, Live and Proclaim Peace.”

The theme was announced in a Statement of the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) dated November 5.

The annual MWOP which is celebrated from the last Thursday of November until Wednesday the following week, is one of the activities that the BUC has embarked on to help build peace.

The first MWOP was held in 1999. This year’s MWOP is from November 27 to December 3.

“The Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an enjoin Christians, Muslims and Indigenous Peoples to pray always. This raising of minds and hearts in prayer to the Almighty God whom they call with many names renews and deepens their faith,” the Statement, signed by Davao City’s Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, BUC Board Chair and co-convenor; and the two other co-convenors — United Church of Christ of the Philippines Bishop Hilario Gomez and Prof. Salipada and Pendatun representing the Ulama League of the Philippines.

“This faith that does justice will bring about peace. This happens when members of families and communities become personally integrated in their individual selves through sustained prayer and loving concern for others. In Hebraic and Islamic cultural traditions this is expressed by the words ‘shalom’ (Hebrew) and ‘salam’ (Arabic) which mean ‘peace’. They have equivalents in other cultures,” the Statement said.

“Prayerful and peaceful families and communities can achieve long-lasting
peace through constant struggle at personal and social transformation. Only then can live, give, share and proclaim peace,” the Statement added.

Since 1999

The Mindanao Week of Peace is a take-off from the annual Zamboanga Week of Peace. Mindanao’s Bishops-Ulama Forum (now Conference) opted to make the celebration Mindanao-wide beginning 1999. The BUC was born three years earlier.

The MWOP’s themes through the years, based on MindaNews’ research:

1999: Healing the Past, Building the Future
2000: Mindanaoans Journeying Together Towards a Culture of Peace.
2001: Peace: Sharing the Vision of Unity and Hope
2002: Peace through Reconciliation: Mindanaoans seeking a Common Ground
2003: Healing through Forgiveness: Key to Total Human Development
2004: A Reconciled Family, Agent of Reconciliation
2005: Millennium Development Goals: Women and Youth as Partners in Peace Building
2006: In the Name of the Almighty, God of Harmony, Care for the Earth
2007: Building Bridges of Peace with our Peace Officers
2008: Integrity of Mind and Heart a way to Reconciliation and Peace!
2009: Think Mindanao, Feel Mindanao, Bring Peace to Mindanao
2010: Responsive and Responsible Governance: Key to Peace, Development and Sustainability
2011: Common Word between us and you: Love of God, Love of Neighbor
2012: Love of God and Love of Neighbor, A Challenge for Mindanao
2013: Dialogue and Hope: Key to Peace

Proclamation 127 issued in 2001 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the MWOP to be from the last Thursday of November to the first Wednesday of December although the first President to declare an MWOP was Joseph Estrada, in 1999. (MindaNews)