The Islamic State-linked Amaq News Agency released a video on June 4 showing militants destroying a church in Marawi, Philippines.
The video shows the jihadists desecrate the church by first smashing statues of Christ and other saints, and then setting the entire building on fire.
The city once populated by 200,000 Filipinos but now mostly abandoned, with about 2 thousand citizens still trapped in the area, has become the scene for the Islamic State to, for the first time ever, challenge territorial control of the Philippine authorities.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said fighters had forced their way into the Marawi Cathedral and seized a priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers.
“They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,” Villegas said in a statement.
“[The priest] was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none. His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilised conflict,” he added.