By BosNewsLife News Center with BosNewsLife Special Correspondent Eric Leijenaar reporting from the Netherlands
MANILA/AMSTERDAM (BosNewsLife) -- Suspected Islamic militants shot and killed a 47-year-old pastor and his 22-year-old daughter in Mindanao, the second largest and easternmost island of the Philippines, investigators said Thursday, July 6.
Speaking from its headquarters in Ermelo, the Netherlands, human rights group Open Doors said it learned from Christian sources that Pastor Mocsin Hasim, a former Muslim, was shot at least 19 times, while his daughter Mercilyn was five times hit.
The attack on June 3, of which details only recently emerged, happened shortly after Pastor Harsim led a wedding service that day, Open Doors said.
"While the two were driving their motorcycle they were ambushed" on an empty road, the well-informed group added. There were apparently no witnesses.
Hasim, who was part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (CAMA), was attacked hours after receiving a text message on his mobile phone with a death threat, Christians said.
"However that was nothing new for the former Muslim who evangelized among Muslim tribes in the area Zamboanga del Norte. He had received threats over a period of several months," Open Doors said in a statement to BosNewsLife.
Local police have reportedly linked the attack to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, described as an "extremist rebel group."
Hasim leaves behind a wife, two sons and a daughter. His wife, Evelyn, does not expect police to make arrests any time soon.
"They wrote a report, but didn’t do anything else," she said in published remarks. "When we collected the human remains of my husband and daughter, [the police] did not even provide protection." It was difficult to reach police officials for comment.
Hasim and his daughter were buried June 11, Open Doors said. The group added that Evelyn and her children received threats and are "currently in hiding to overcome the emotional experiences." Open Doors, which supports persecuted Christians around the world, said it and other organizations are giving financial help to the family.
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