I’ve mentioned my recent visit to Central Philippine University in a previous post. This college was started by American Baptist missionaries. Some of the missionaries serving at CPU and in nearby regions were martyred during World War II. Monuments were put on campus in their memory. Below is their story, directly quoted from one of these monuments:
When Japanese forces invaded Panay in April 1942, eleven of the 18 American Baptist Missionaries on the Island chose not to surrender. Aided by Filipino friends, they evacuated to Katipunan, Tapas, Capiz, and then to a mountain hideout located in a narrow ravine deep within the forest. For twenty long, difficult months they lived in this retreat (which they named “Hopevale”) and continued serving the Lord. They built an open-air chapel, a “cathedral in the glen,” and held regular worship services attended by some 75 to 100 people from the surrounding areas.
Then, on Sunday morning, 19 December 1943, Japanese troops suddenly came with orders to kill. The Amercians tried to escape, but when the women and children were overtaken, all surrendered. They pleaded for their lives and the Japanese commander radioed for final orders. He got the reply at noon the next day, ordering him to execute the captives. The missionaries asked for a period of prayer and after about an hour they came forward singing a hymn. One by one they were led to a mountaintop and killed—martyrs to the Christian faith, freedom, and democracy.