Fair. Balanced. American.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Idaho Baptists being held for Haiti child trafficking

But they have a defense: the kids were free.
The 33 children on the bus have been temporarily placed in an orphanage in Santo, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince that is run by SOS Children’s Villages, an organization based in Austria. On its Web site Sunday, SOS said at least one of the children, an 8-year-old girl, told workers, “I am not an orphan” and that she believed that her mother had arranged a short vacation for her.

In an earlier posting, SOS said that the children were destined for adoption and that a group associated with the 10 Baptists, New Life Children’s Refuge, advertised adoptions for Americans. But Laura Silsby, 40, who was among those detained, said that New Life Children’s Refuge had paid no money for the children and learned about them from a Haitian pastor, Jean Sanbil of the Sharing Jesus Ministries.
UPDATE: But some Haitian officials were quick to paint the Americans as kidnappers, illustrating how the case was becoming a lightning rod for fears that child traffickers or unscrupulous adoption agencies could try to take advantage of the chaos in Haiti.

The Haitian prime minister told Reuters that “we did not arrest Americans, we arrested kidnappers,” and he said the church members could face serious charges. But the Haitian justice minister and a lawyer for the Americans said there was also a possibility that the group could be returned to the United States.
Evangelicals see natural disasters as great recruiting opportunities, and are often met with tremendous success, as in the 1976 Guatemalan earhquake. Child trafficking charges aren't the most auspicious beginning to their conversion effort.

No comments :