NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--An appeal to President Obama has been made by three Southern Baptist Convention leaders in behalf of the 10 Baptist volunteers currently being held in Haiti on kidnapping and criminal association charges.
"... We are concerned that the continued detainment and possible conviction of these Baptist mission volunteers will distract the world's attention and undermine the relief efforts so desperately needed by the Haitian people....
The Feb. 5 letter asks the president "that you do everything within the authority of your office to secure a safe return home for these brothers and sisters in Christ as soon as possible."
The Baptist leaders affirmed "the diplomatic negotiations currently under way between your Administration and the Haitian government to resolve this matter … to bring about a solution that respects the rule of law, honors international agreements, and ensures the best possible care and full legal representation for these Baptist mission volunteers."
The letter was sent to President Obama by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, Morris H. Chapman; the SBC's president, Johnny Hunt; and the SBC's immediate past president, Frank Page, who is a member of the president's Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
"We have closely monitored news reports that these Baptist mission volunteers have been arrested, detained, and charged by the Haitian government on allegations of child kidnapping," the Baptist leaders wrote to the president. "It is our understanding that these mission volunteers were attempting to transport 33 Haitian children into the Dominican Republic for humanitarian purposes. We do not know all of the facts of this case, but we are concerned that the continued detainment and possible conviction of these Baptist mission volunteers will distract the world's attention and undermine the relief efforts so desperately needed by the Haitian people....
"It is possible that the Baptist mission volunteers currently detained in Haiti have acted with the noblest of intentions in a desperate situation ... Read More