Archive for Missionaries

Sharia law replaces Constitution – Video- Arrested for preaching Christ at Arab festival in America !

Posted in Islam, Sharia Law with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by saynsumthn

Press Release from: The Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today it is representing all four of the Christian missionaries. Police told Christians they’d have to go 5 BLOCKS away from an Muslim festival to distribute Gospel tracks.

ANN ARBOR, MI – Must see videos. Two videos dramatically describe how Sharia law is being enforced in Dearborn, Michigan where Dearborn Police Officers arrested four Christian missionaries. The missionaries explain in their own words what happened.

The first video documents the actual arrest of some of the missionaries. Later in the video the missionaries give an account of the events leading up to their arrest and overnight detention.

On Saturday, the missionaries attempted to peacefully distribute copies of the Gospel of John outside the entrance to the Arab festival. Within three minutes, the Christians were surrounded by eight Dearborn police officers and ordered to cease and desist. These events were also captured on video Below:

In what some have described as police enforcement of Sharia law at the annual Dearborn Arab International Festival, last Friday night (6/18/2010) Dearborn Police Officers arrested four Christian missionaries and illegally confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests. The Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced it is representing all of the Christian missionaries.

Arrested on charges of Breach of the Peace are: Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, and David Wood. Mayel, an eighteen year old female, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan and a recent convert from Islam to Christianity, was also charged with failure to obey a police officer’s orders. She was approximately 100 feet away and videotaping a discussion with some Muslims when her camera was seized.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “These Christian missionaries were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus. It’s apparent that these arrests were a retaliatory action over the embarrassing video of the strong arm tactics used last year by Festival Security Guards. This time, the first thing police officers did before making the arrests was to confiscate the video cameras in order to prevent a recording of what was actually happening.”

Thompson continued, “Contrary to the comments made by Police Chief Ron Haddad, our Constitution does not allow police to ban the right of free speech just because there are some hecklers. Not all police officers approve of the way their department treated these Christians.”

Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel with the Law Center in charge of the case, yesterday faxed a letter to Chief Haddad demanding that the three video cameras and tapes illegally seized from the missionaries be immediately returned.

The Law Center is also representing Pastor George Saeig who was prohibited by the Festival and Police authorities from distributing religious material at last year’s festival. That case is ongoing.

Here is the 2009 incident:


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Jailed Missionaries return from Haiti and tell their story

Posted in Haiti with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by saynsumthn

Haitian Missionaries released

Posted in H1N1 with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by saynsumthn

2/18/2010

Eight American missionaries charged with child kidnapping in Haiti returned to the U.S. aboard a military cargo plane early Thursday after nearly three weeks in a Haitian jail. But two others remained detained in an ordeal sparked by the group’s attempt to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country.

About 12 hours after a Haitian judge approved their release, the missionaries arrived on a U.S. Air Force C-130 just after midnight at Miami International Airport. They declined to answer reporters’ questions as they briskly walked into a hotel adjoining the airport and got in an elevator.

“They’re very tired,” said Caleb Stegall, a district attorney in Kansas who has been helping some of the missionaries. “They’ve had quite an ordeal and they’re obviously looking forward to a soft bed, a hot meal and a warm shower.”

Elated relatives expressed relief, including Sean Lankford of Meridian, Idaho, whose wife and daughter were among the eight released. When asked by The Associated Press how he felt late Wednesday, he offered two words: “Damn good.”

Earlier, Lankford said events had been unpredictable. “There’s been a lot of a strange twists and turns in this case,” he said.

The group’s swift departure from Haiti began Wednesday when Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said eight of the 10 missionaries were free to leave without bail because parents of the children had testified they voluntarily gave their children to the missionaries believing the Americans would give them a better life.

“The parents gave their kids away voluntarily,” Saint-Vil said in explaining his decision.

He said, however, that he still wanted to question the group’s leader, Laura Silsby, and her former nanny, Charisa Coulter, because they had visited Haiti prior to the quake to inquire about obtaining orphans.

Just after dusk in Haiti, the bedraggled, sweat-stained group of eight walked out of the jail escorted by U.S. diplomats. They waited until they were safely inside a white embassy van before some flashed smiles and gave a thumbs up to reporters. Their plane took off from Port-au-Prince shortly thereafter as a group of reporters watched.

The missionaries were charged with child kidnapping for trying to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic on Jan. 29 without Haitian adoption certificates.

Their detentions came just as aid officials were urging a halt to short-cut adoptions in the wake of the earthquake. Before their release, Haiti’s No. 2 justice official, Claudy Gassent, informed them of the judge’s decision but said he also gave them a lecture.

“They know they broke the law,” he said.

The missionaries say they were on a do-it-youself “rescue mission” to take child quake victims to a hastily prepared orphanage in the Dominican Republic, denying the trafficking charge.

Silsby originally said they were taking only orphaned and abandoned children, but The Associated Press determined that at least 20 were handed over willingly by their parents, who said the Baptists had promised to educate them and let their parents visit.

Saint-Vil said he did not release Silsby, 47, or Coulter, 24, because of their previous activities in Haiti during a December visit. Silsby hastily enlisted the rest of the group after the quake. Coulter, of Boise, Idaho, is diabetic and the judge signed an order Wednesday afternoon authorizing her hospitalization.

He said he had planned to question both women Thursday but that Coulter’s health situation could prompt a delay. She had briefly been taken to a U.S. field hospital on Wednesday for treatment after feeling faint but was then taken back to jail.

Silsby’s sister in Idaho, Kim Barton, said learning that her sister could not leave Haiti was difficult.

“At this point I don’t have any comment. I don’t know any more than you do,” Barton said.

Gary Lissade, the Haitian attorney for freed detainee Jim Allen of Amarillo, Texas, said he expected the charges to be dropped against the eight.

“My faith means everything to me, and I knew this moment would come when the truth would set me free,” Allen said in a statement issued by the Liberty Legal Institute in Plano, Texas.

Haiti parents testify they gave kids to Americans

Posted in Haiti with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by saynsumthn

2/10/2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A lawyer for 10 U.S. missionaries detained in Haiti says parents of the children they’re suspected of kidnapping told a judge they freely handed over their kids.

Aviol Fleurant argues the parents’ testimony means no law was broken and “we can’t talk any more about trafficking of human beings.”

Fleurant said Tuesday he’s “confident” the judge will dismiss the case.

Prosecutors are to make their final argument Wednesday on whether to pursue the charges.

The Americans are accused of trying to take 33 children into the neighboring Dominican Republic without proper documentation.

The Baptist missionaries say they were heading to a Dominican orphanage following Haiti’s devastating quake, and had only good intentions.

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Motion Filed to Bring Imprisoned American Home from Haiti

Jim Allen’s Wife Pleads for Safe Return

Contact: Jennifer Grisham, Director of Media, Liberty Legal Institute, 972-941-4453, media@libertylegal.org

DALLAS, Feb. 10 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, attorneys filed a motion asking for the release of Jim Allen, a Texan who is imprisoned in Haiti with nine Baptists who were in the Caribbean country to assist relief victims after last month’s devastating earthquake there. Mr. Allen, a construction worker and small business owner from Amarillo, Texas, joined the team 48 hours before the group’s departure in an attempt to lend his construction expertise in the rebuilding efforts, and has been held, along with the others, by Haitian authorities since January 29.

“Jim is an honest, hard-working American who just wanted to help those in need,” said Lisa Allen, Jim Allen’s wife, who was allowed to speak with her husband yesterday for the first time since he was detained 13 days ago. “Jim was invited to go with a group from Idaho just a couple of days before they left. He felt compelled to use his skills to help complete a temporary orphanage for those who had lost everything.”

Mr. Allen has been before a Haitian judge a number of times, but until yesterday had not been allowed to speak with his attorneys in the United States. Attorneys for the Allen family sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week asking for her involvement to get Mr. Allen home.

“Jim Allen is an upstanding American with a good heart trying to help rebuild a devastated country,” said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute, a non-profit legal firm that is helping the Allen family. “We believe that when the facts of this case are revealed, our client will be released. We’re working hard to make that happen.”

Invited by a cousin in Idaho to join the team, Mr. Allen jumped at the chance to help. “He had been talking for years about wanting to help relief efforts,” said his wife, who has been particularly concerned with Jim’s well-being while in a Haitian prison since he suffers from a medical condition for which he takes medication.

“We hope and pray that the State Department is doing everything it can to get all these Americans, in particular Jim Allen, home,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Legal Institute. “We have faith that the Haitian judge will do the right thing after Jim’s facts come to light.”

Liberty Legal Institute has set up a website to help with Jim Allen’s legal defense at http://www.BringJimHome.com. Jim’s Haitian counsel is Louis Gary Lissade, who previously served as Haitian Minister of Justice. Mr. Lissade filed today’s motion on Jim Allen’s behalf.

Liberty Legal Institute is a legal organization committed to the defense of First Amendment rights and practices before the U.S. Supreme Court.

For questions or interviews, please contact Jennifer Grisham, director of media, at 972.941.4453 or media@libertylegal.org.

Geraldo Rivera on Fox defends American Missionaries jailed in Haiti

Posted in Church, Haiti with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by saynsumthn

Geraldo Rivera spoke with Fox’s Megyn Kelley and said he is outraged about the way these Christian Missionaries are being treated in Haiti and so am I. We are sending billions over there and how dare they country jail American Citizens for simply taking mercy on orphans. Listen to Geraldo’s words here and see that the Haitian Government is making an unnecessary example of people who had the best of motives. Come on people – where is the outrage? Where is the Christian Church speaking for these people? Where is Hillary Clinton, President Obama ? Get activated and don’t let these people rot in jail.

Ten U.S. missionaries were charged on Thursday with child kidnapping and criminal association for illegally trying to take children out of Haiti.
The 10 Americans from two Idaho-based Baptist churches were formally charged with “kidnapping minors and criminal association,” said their lawyer Edwin Coq.

Haitian Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ferge Joseph announced the charges and told the Americans their case was being sent to an investigative judge.

“That judge can free you, but he can also continue to hold you for further proceedings,” the deputy prosecutor told the 10 Americans.

The missionaries were apparently stunned by the charges as they had already packed their luggage in hopes of a release.

It is Disgraceful that Escaped Haitian Criminals are Roaming the Streets of Haiti While Ten American Christian Missionaries Remain in Jail
Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /Christian Newswire/ — The Christian Defense Coalition calls for the Obama Administration to treat the American missionaries jailed in Haiti with the same commitment they are treating the three American hikers jailed in Iran.

With respect to the jailed hikers in Iran, Secretary of State Clinton has stated;

“As we have said repeatedly, we call on Iran to release all of the American citizens that they have currently detained. We believe they’re being unjustly detained and that they should be released without further delay.”

The hikers are being held on espionage charges.

With respect to the ten American missionaries being held, Secretary of Clinton has stated,

“Obviously, this is a matter for the Haitian judicial system. We’re going to continue to provide support as we do in every instance like this to American citizens who have been charged and hope that this matter can be resolved in an expeditious way, but it is something that a sovereign nation is pursuing based on the evidence that it presented when the charges were announced.”

Why the double standard toward the Christian missionaries?

Why not treat them the same as the hikers in Iran and demand their immediate release?

It is clear that the Obama Administration is not applying the same standard to the missionaries in Haiti as they are to those jailed in Iran.

The same rule should be applied to both situations. That is, the call for the missionaries immediate release without any more delays.

These Christian missionaries should not be treated as second class citizens by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney along with Rev. Rob Scheck met this week with Haitian Ambassador Joseph in an attempt to secure their release.