The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.
The American Catholic missionaries in Tapaz,Philippines probably could not be specified as vulnerable but the people they cared for were. additionally the missionaries themselves did not pose any threat themselves to the Japanese occupiers.
The Hopevale Martyrs were Christian martyrs who died during the World War II in the present day Hopevale, Aglinab, Tapaz, Capiz, Philippines. The martyrs were Jeanie Clare Adams, Prof. James Howard Covell, Charma Moore Covell, Dorothy Antoinette Dowell, Signe Amelia Erikson, Dr. Frederick Willer-Meyer, Ruth Schatch Meyer, Dr. Francis Howard Rose, Gertrude Coombs Rose, Rev. Erle Frederich Rounds, Louise Cummings Rounds, and Erle Douglas. Despite the order that these Americans should go home because of the war, they refused to leave their mission and eventually offered their lives when they were caught by the enemies.
During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the eleven American Baptist missionaries refused to surrender to the Japanese troops.
The missionaries took refuge in the mountains of Barrio Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz. They hid in the forest they call “Hopevale” with the help of their Filipino friends.
On December 19, 1943, Hopevale fell into Japanese hands. The martyrs begged to free the Filipino captives and instead offered themselves as ransom. At the dawn of December 20, 1943, the missionaries asked to be allowed to pray and, an hour later, they told their Japanese captors they were ready to die. The adults were beheaded and the children were bayoneted.
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