Jewish Journal

Missionaries accused of child trafficking in Haiti

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 2, 2010 | 9:40 am

This probably seemed like such a good idea. But it wasn’t. Not even close. Forget the fact that adoptions are not what Haiti needs right now. Though the dust has settled from that devastating earthquake, it’s still not even clear who is an orphan.

Ten Americans, some from an Idaho Baptist church, are accused of trying to kidnap 33 children. They may have just been trying to give them a better life, but Haitian authorities are sensitive to the vulnerability of new orphans. From ABC News:

“I can assure you that the intent of our group going down there had absolutely nothing to do with kidnapping and everything to do with helping a desperate situation in Haiti,” the Rev. Clint Henry, from the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, said on “Good Morning America” today.

The 10 Baptist missionaries said they were attempting to bring 33 Haitian children to an orphanage across the border in the Dominican Republic when they were arrested Friday night at a border crossing.

“They were arrested on the border with children that were not theirs, and that they had no papers for,” Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told ABC News. “For me, it’s not Americans that were arrested, it was kidnappers that were arrested.”

Here’s a more in-depth AP story from the Meridian, Idaho, congregation. I thought the accused were supposed to be in court today, but I couldn’t find any reports on it.

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