The coming of Protestant missionaries was not welcomed by Catholic clergy, and, for several years, representatives of Catholic and Protestant churches engaged in mutual recrimination. Catholics were warned against involvement in Protestant activities, even in groups like the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young Women's Christian Association. Since the 1970s, hostility between Catholics and many Protestant churches had lessened; churches emphasized the virtues rather than the alleged defects of other churches; and priests and pastors occasionally cooperated. Although the ecumenical emphasis did not eliminate competition and gained far more hold among older Protestant churches than among groups that had entered the Philippines more recently, the trend had significantly moderated religious tensions.
Some tentative efforts toward ecumenical understanding also were made in relations between Christians and Muslims, delineating common ground in the mutual acceptance of much of the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. Occasional conferences were held in an attempt to expand understanding. Their success by the early 1990s was limited but might indicate that, even in this tense area, improvement was possible.
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