Sunday, October 23, 2011

How True That Word is Sharper Than Sword

Lapu-Lapu monument on Mactan island, Cebu/Phil...

Image via Wikipedia Lapu-Lapu

Some Filipinos claimed that Magellan spread Christianity in the Philippines through friendship before people had accepted Christianity. However, I am still doubtful for that claim - my reason is that if Magellan really utilized friendship to spread Christianity in the country, there will be no bloody fight occurred between him and Lapu-Lapu that led to his death! I can say it now that Magellan used also swords to propagate Christianity not like Makdum, an Arabian missionary used his persuasive powers to introduce Islam in Philippines.

Many of us Filipinos are not aware that Islam is 141 years older than Christianity in the Philippines. 

The Christian religion came to our land when, on March 16, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan landed on Homonhon Island of Samar on an expedition sent by King Philip of Spain. The primary objective of the expedition was to conquer some spicy islands and to spread Christianity. The inhabitants of Homonhon Island, who were pagans, were the first to be converted.

The expedition took Magellan and his forces to Panay and Cebu also. While the people of Panay accepted the new religion, Lapu-Lapu in Cebu opposed him. A war ensued, and Magellan was killed. Following his death, King Philip sent more expeditions, with soldiers and preachers, to spread Christianity. As a result, the Philippines became the first Christian country in Asia.

In contrast to the general welcome Christianity received in the archipelago, it found resistance in Mindanao where the inhabitants were already Muslims. Makdum/Mukdum, an Arabian missionary and scholar who arrived in Tubig Indangan, in 1380, introduced Islam in the Philippines. He introduced Islam with his persuasive powers.

The point I wanted to make is that Islam is not an interloper that came to a Christian country. It has been in the Philippines for approximately 631 years, compared to the 490 years that Christianity has been there. 

In 1990 records, the Christian population in Philippines has reached to 91.5 percent of the total population compared to 5 percent of our brother Muslim Filipinos. And the other 3.5 percent are comprising other religions.

I still remember that during my elementary, high school and college days no teachers taught me about Islam that is part of Philippine history.  

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