Friday, December 05, 2008

British missionaries being charged with sedition in Gambia

fultons Gambia is not one of those countries which you hear much about.  In my 11+ years of working with persecuted Christians, I don't believe that we have ever reported on a case of persecution in Gambia.

British newspapers, however, are reporting of a missionary couple who were arrested last Saturday, paraded on state television late on Wednesday and then charged on Thursday, accused of writing letters to individuals and organizations abroad to "bring into hatred or contempt, to excite disaffection against the President of the Republic and the government of the Gambia." The couple pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned until December 16.  Gambian President Yahya Jammeh seized power in a 1994 military coup in mainland Africa's smallest country and tolerates little criticism of his government.

Fiona and David Fulton have lived in Gambia for twelve years as missionaries. Those who know them say that the focus of their ministry is strictly that of teaching and practicing the gospel.  David serves as a chaplain in the Gambian Army and his wife looks after terminally ill people and spends time visiting women in their homes and in hospital.

David, 60, is being held  in the country's notorious Mile Two prison - a high security jail outside the capital Banjul, a tough former colonial jail built during the days of the British Empire. Fiona, 46, is understood to be in police custody with the couple's adopted two-year-old daughter Elizabeth.  She is being treated well but there are concerns about David's condition.  According to reports, they were offered bail on condition that four Gambian property owners would vouch for them but they have not yet managed to meet these conditions.

Please uphold this couple in your prayers.  For more information on Gambia and the ministry of the Fulton's, check out their church's website.

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