Maguindanao tribal group prays for rain in Australia, peace in Middle East

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 06 January) — A women’s tribal group in Maguindanao performed a prayer ritual Monday calling for rains to stop the devastating wildfires in Australia and the de-escalation of tension between the United States and Iran.

A few dozen members of the Teduray-Lambangian Women’s Organization, Inc. (TLWOI) gathered in nearby South Upi town to pray for rains and for “Frayag Sarif,” the tribe’s “Goddess of Fire,” to stop the wildfires razing Australia since last year.

In total, more than 5.9 million hectares have been burned across Australia’s six states — an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Haiti combined, CNN.Com reported.

Experts estimated that the wildfires might have killed about half a billion mammals, birds and reptiles in Australia’s New South Wales.

Froilyn Mendoza, TLWOI lead convenor, said they are deeply alarmed by the biggest inferno to hit Australia, as seen from television reports and social media posts, thus they offered a kanduli or religious ritual.

The group also called on the “Gods of Nature” to de-escalate the growing tension between the United States and Iran, a country in the Middle East.

Iran has vowed to avenge the death of its top military general, Qassem Soleimeni, and several others during a United States airstrike in Iraq last Friday.

“We pray for peace (in the Middle East),” Mendoza said.

She said her group is worried that World War 3 might erupt, dragging other countries, if the tension between the two countries will not be resolved.