RealNews

Where dialogue counts more than bullets and bombs

The locals call this the “city of flowers.” Bougainvillea clings to the walls of the old stone and masonry buildings. Hibiscus, orchids and lantana crowd flower beds and roadside medians. The idyllic scene masks the reality of this war-torn area of southern Mindanao. But on 14 acres of gardens not far from the Sulu Sea, Filipino Muslims and Christians do something they seldom do in this region: talk to each other. Harmony Village, the home of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, was founded in 1986 by Catholic priest Sebastiano D’Ambra as an alternative to the violence that historically has marked relations between Mindanao’s Muslims and Christians. Full Story

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