Yesterday (Sunday, July 28), at the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Luke in Hong Kong, after the Divine Liturgy we offered a Trisagion Prayer for the repose of the soul of a 19 year old man, named Santiago. The young man was a nephew of the leader of the Orthodox community at Kimlawis in Philippines. He was killed by members of the Blaan tribe, in the name of a barbaric pagan custom. A month ago a member of the tribe Blaan has been killed in Kimlawis. The Blaan tribe pagan tradition for revenge orders to kill the first person they see. They believe that the souls of the victims will accompany each other to the afterlife. On Saturday, July 23, at dawn, members of the Blaan tribe attacked farms in Kimlawis, slaughtered the domestic livestock, burned the premises and killed the young Santiago, who had the misfortune to be the first person that they saw. The brutality of the murderers went so far as to cut off the left hand of the victim and to take it with them as a ‘trophy’ …
Unfortunately, although we live in the 21st century barbaric pagan traditions continue to exist and to reign. This tragic event is one of the many problems that the Orthodox mission is facing in Asia.
We pray our Lord to forgive the killers. We pray for the repose of the soul of our brother Santiago. We pray and we try to help the families who lost everything to build their lives again.
(photo:Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur)