GlobeTracker| The Baptist Press reports that a new charge of being weighed against Laura Silsby, the leader of 10 American missionaries detained in Haiti. All but Silsby have been released.
Silsby, who led the team, now is accused of attempting to take 40 children out of Haiti without proper paperwork on Jan. 26, three days before the 10-member team was prevented from crossing the border into the Dominican Republic with 33 children.
The judge has until May to decide whether to release Silsby or order a trial. The new charge carries a penalty of three to six years imprisonment.
Morocco’s Interior Ministry claims the group “exploited some families’ poverty and targeted their minor children,” violating rules on guardianship and breaking Morocco’s laws against proselytizing to Muslims.
Islam is Morocco’s official religion — one of King Mohammed VI’s titles is Commander of the Faithful — and Christian evangelism is banned. Periodic expulsions for it have taken place in the past.
U.S. Ambassador Samuel Kaplan, in a message Thursday to Americans registered with the embassy, said the U.S. doesn’t take issue with Moroccan law. via AP
The Christian group said that “it always sought to abide” by the law and wasn’t trying to evangelize the children. According to the Village of Hope website, the home near Ain Leuh was created by two American women — Emmagene Coates and Ellen Doran — over a half-century ago. Also on the group’s website is news that the International Press Conference with VOH parents is postponed to today, Tuesday at 3pm (now past) at Carpenters Arms, Wesley House, Gibraltar.
Last Friday, US Ambassador Kaplan “trumpeted progress in Morocco on women’s rights and democracy, and “one of the strongest records in the Arab world” toward reforms that have improved human rights.” via AP