Brazilian Missionaries in Senegal Granted Bail After Child Trafficking and Conspiracy Arrests

Brazilian missionaries, Jose Dílson Alves da Silva and Zeneide Novaes, who have been imprisoned in Thiés, Senegal, were granted bail in Dakar on Friday. The missionaries were arrested in November last year accused of child trafficking and conspiracy.

The court has now allowed them 30 days of provisory freedom, the Brazilian National Association of Evangelicals Jurists (ANAJURE) has confirmed to The Christian Post in an email. They were given permission to come out of the prison on Friday.

ANAJURE together with American organizations Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) and Advocates International have been offering support to the two missionaries in the case.

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José Dilson and Zeneide work for the Presbyterian Agency of Trans-cultural Missions, a Brazilian mission organization that are present in more than 20 countries.

In Senegal, José Dilson founded a school called ABC that aims to offer educational support and benefit to hundreds of families in the region. The school currently has 200 children registered to it, who also receive meals and participate in sports activities.

However, José Dilson and his colleague Zeneide were arrested last year when one of the children's fathers complained that his son was becoming Christian. He allegedly said his son was refusing to participate in Islamic rituals.

Senegal is a country where 94 percent of the population is estimated to be Muslim. The accusations led to the missionaries being arrested in Mbour, near Dakar.

José Dias has been working in Africa for more than 20 years as a missionary and has until now never been in trouble with the law.

According to reports from the region, since his arrest, Dilson has showed firm faith. He has declared in a letter to his wife, Marli, that everything should be for the glory of God.

"Write to everyone, even to those in Senegal, that the enemy will throw some in prison, but everything will be for the glory of God. False accusations and deceit will come from all directions," he said, according to My Global View.

The Christian Post Portuguese Edition reporter Giana Guterres contributed to this article

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