Philippine Bishops
Seek Government Help
in Saudi Persecution
Catholic Leaders Dismayed
by Philippine Government's Inaction
MANILA ( -- The Catholic bishops of the 
Philippines have called upon their country's president to intervene 
on behalf of Christians who have imprisoned by the government of 
Saudi Arabia. 

On July 13, at the end of a meeting of the their episcopal 
conference, the bishops asked President Estrada to press for the 
release of the Filipinos, who they said are being persecuted in 
Saudi Arabia because of their faith. The appeal was signed by 
Bishop Ramon Arguelles, president of the Episcopal Commission 
for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. 

The bishops' statement lists the names of 30 Philippine citizens 
and one Dutch man who have been detained in Saudi Arabia. Ten 
are said to have been released, although they cannot be contacted 
and their whereabouts are unknown. The bishops ask the president 
to intervene in particular on behalf of these Philippine citizens.

The bishops also express their dismay over their government's 
apparent lack of interest in the case to date -- pointing out that 
American and British diplomats lodged protests with the Saudi 
government, even with the Filipino embassy remained silent. 

Daily News Brief from Catholic World News for July 13, 1998
Copyright 1998 Domus Enterprises

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