UCCP Statement on red-tagging of the church and Rev. Catherine Chang

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

On Monday, April 11, the Rev. Cathy Chang was red-tagged. In the early evening at her home in Quezon City, there were stickers and tarpaulin with her photos and accusations of “Supporter of Terrorist CPP-NPA-NDFP” and threatened her to “Get Out of the Country.” On Saturday, April 9, two days before this incident, Rev. Cathy received an invitation to meet with a progressive party-list candidate and discuss peace issues.

The UCCP condemns in the strongest terms the recent acts of red-tagging and malicious vilification. Acts like these are concrete manifestations to blemish the integrity of our Church Workers, our Mission Co-workers, and our Church in general, as it faithfully carries out the mission of Christ to bring good news of hope and life to the masses. Such blatant contempt of the Church can only be done by those who have always publicly denigrated us. Amidst this challenging situation, the Church cannot remain silent but be watchful and steadfast in its calling to serve the least and the lost. Even as it comes as a threat, it will not dampen our spirit to hold onto truth and righteousness, neither will it prevent us from doing our mission to proclaim Christ’s message of peace and justice.

Rev. Cathy Chang is a mission co-worker of the Presbyterian Church (USA), an international partner with historical mission legacy of the UCCP. She serves with the UCCP Migrant Ministry at the national office. Together with faith community leaders and migrant advocates around the Philippines, they provide pastoral care and advocacy with migrants and their families. This ecumenical and interfaith ministry in the Philippines includes countries around Asia. With the same care and attention of listening and responding to migrants’ concerns, Rev. Cathy also approaches her studies as a peacebuilding doctoral student.

This red-tagging accusation is an affront to her ministry and moreover the prophetic ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Together as constituents and international partners, we denounce this red tagging of Rev. Cathy Chang and church leaders. We will remain vigilant and steadfast in faith, as we will work and march towards peace and freedom in solidarity with the oppressed sectors of our society. In solemn prayers, let us unite our voices and in work “let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a never-ending stream”!

THE UCCP COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
April 15, 2022

Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
General Secretary
Bishop Joseph G. Agpaoa
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Joel E. Tendero
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Jerome C. Baris
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Feliciana P. Tenchavez
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Ligaya F. San Francisco
Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis
Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area

Bishops Emeritus:

Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop Jezer E. Bertoldo
Bishop Isaias L. Bingtan
Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Constante D. Claro
Bishop Hilario M. Gomez, Jr.
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza
Bishop Jaime R. Moriles
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat
Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Rizalino Q. Taganas
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta