Brazilian Missionaries Freed From Prison, Still Face Legal Battle
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Apr 17
Two Brazilian missionaries held in a Senegal jail without charge for five months are now free on bail, World Watch Monitor reports. The two still face accusations that they operated youth programs without permits. Jose Dilson Da Silvia is a missionary with the Brazilian Presbyterian Church in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Zeneide Moreira Novais runs an orphanage for street children in Mbour, 80 kilometers south of Dakar. The Brazilian National Organization of Evangelical Lawyers for the Defense of Fundamental Civic Freedoms, or ANAJURE, says a final judgment on their case is expected within 30 days of their April 5 release. Their troubles began when a father became upset that his son, said to be 17 years old, had learned about Christianity in Da Silva’s Project Obadiah, which has 200 registered children. ANAJURE president Uziel Santana told World Watch Monitor that the complaint about forceful conversions of Muslims found a legal foothold when it was discovered that Da Silva’s projects had been operating without necessary licenses. The detention without trial of foreign Christian workers raises a number of questions in a country seen as a democratic model in Africa and known for its culture of tolerance.