Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, have asked President Obama to “do everything within the authority of your office” to free the American missionary team charged with abduction in Haiti.
In a letter dated Feb. 5, the leaders said it is “the consuming passion” of Southern Baptists to share the good news with the world and to “love every person He has created.” This characteristic is especially apparent during times of disaster when Southern Baptists work alongside other humanitarian groups to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people.
Though the leaders admit they do not know all the facts in the case of the detained missionaries, they say it is their understanding that the volunteers were trying to transport 33 Haitian children across the border for humanitarian purposes. more >>
Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, spoke to The Christian Post this week while in Washington, D.C., to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, among other events. During the interview, Tunnicliffe addressed the controversy surrounding the WEA’s recent visit to China, the group’s role in the upcoming Lausanne conference, and what its members are doing to help Haiti.
The following are excerpts from the interview.
CP: WEA leaders met with the TSPM/CCC (Three-Self Patriotic Movement/China Christian Council) church leaders in November. Did you also meet with house church leaders? If not, why not? more >>
With the controversy surrounding the American Christian team in Haiti, several large Baptist bodies have distanced themselves from the group by clarifying that they are not members of their organization.
The global fellowship Baptist World Alliance issued a statement Thursday “to assure its member bodies, the media and the public” that neither the team of missionaries nor their churches are affiliated with BWA or with any of its member bodies.
Similarly, the American Baptist Churches USA on Wednesday stated that the ten American Baptists arrested by Haitian authorities over concern about child trafficking are not members of churches affiliated with the denomination. more >>
The ten American Baptists who tried to take 33 Haitian children across the border to the Dominican Republic were charged Thursday with abduction and criminal association.
Haitian Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ferge Joseph announced the charges and said that the case was being sent to an investigative judge. The charges carry prison terms of up to 15 years. After the announcement, the U.S. missionaries were led back to their prison cells.
Last Friday, the ten-member team, made up mostly of members from an Idaho Baptist church, was arrested while trying to take a bus full of Haitian children across the border. The leader of the Baptist team, Laura Silsby, 40, said the group was bringing the children to a 45-room hotel in the Dominican Republic, where they would stay until a permanent orphanage could be constructed. more >>
International Christian aid agency World Vision is encouraging Americans this month to especially pray for the critical needs of children in Haiti.
The agency proclaimed February to be the month of prayer for Haiti’s children, who are susceptible to diseases, infection and exploitation in addition to homelessness and hunger in the aftermath of last month’s devastating earthquake.
“We are especially concerned about children’s needs and vulnerabilities in this disaster,” said Steve Haas, World Vision’s vice president for church relations. “We know it is going to be a marathon – and not a sprint – to help them and their families recover and rebuild their lives.” more >>
Five of the ten U.S. missionaries who were detained for taking children out of Haiti were questioned by a judge Tuesday.
The Baptists had traveled to the earthquake ravaged country to rescue orphans and bring them to the Dominican Republic but now find themselves in a Haitian jail, accused of child trafficking.
Judge Ezaie Pierre-Louis questioned five women missionaries for several hours and is scheduled to interview the men on Wednesday. more >>