The United Methodist Church is calling for the immediate release of a missionary from Brunswick, Ohio who is being held captive in the Philippines.
According to the church, Adam Shaw and two other missionaries have endured repeated bureaucratic delays that have caused the postponement of their departure for weeks. The church is calling on the Philippines government to expedite their release.
The United Methodist Church has launched a worldwide campaign to make the public aware of this issue. Despite continuing efforts by the local, regional United Methodist conference, Philippines-based attorneys and officials with The United Methodist Church, the missionaries have experienced repeated difficulties getting the legal documents and clearance they need to leave the Philippines, according to the church.
Shaw is a global missionary with The United Methodist Church. The other two missionaries, Tawanda Chandiwana of Zimbabwe and Miracle Osman of Malawi, are Global Mission Fellows, serving 20 months in the Philippines to promote peace and human rights advocacy, teach English and aid in social work.
On Tuesday, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church asked for immediate action by the Bureau of Immigration to allow Shaw and Osman to leave the country voluntarily. They also said they appealed to the Philippines government to free Chandiwana, who has been incarcerated for more than six weeks by bureaucratic delays, and allow him to leave the country.
The church has started an online petition for anyone who wishes to show their support for these missionaries and let them know they are not forgotten. As of 9:20 p.m. Thursday night, the petition had reached just over 7,900 signatures with a goal of 10,000 before a press conference in the Philippines on Monday.