Six weeks after their abduction in Yemen there is still no word about the whereabouts of a German Christian family and a British citizen, reports Wolfgang Polzer, special to ASSIST News Service.
The development worker, his wife, their three children and the British engineer were kidnapped in mid-June during an outing near Saada in North Yemen.
They were with two German bible school students and a South Korean teacher. They were found murdered on June 12.
The nine Christians were working at the Al Jumhuri hospital in Saada, which has since been closed for security reasons. The humanitarian agency Worldwide Services, based in the Netherlands, has withdrawn all staff members.
As a close family member of the missing Germans told the evangelical news agency idea that there is no news about the fate or the whereabouts of the hostages. No ransom demand has been made.
It is most likely that the Christians were abducted for religious reasons. Apparently the German development worker was seen talking to a man about the Bible. The family wanted to return to East Germany next year, when their youngest daughter is due to start school.
The Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Saxony, Jochen Bohl, has asked for intercession on behalf of the missing Christians.
In the last 15 years at least 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen. In most cases, they were set free after ransom payments.
It is not the first time that Muslim extremists have murdered hospital workers in Yemen. Two men killed three US-citizens at a Baptist hospital in Jibla, December 30, 2002. Another American was wounded. The culprits were later convicted and sentenced to death.
Yemen is one of the strictest Islamic countries. 99 percent of the 21 million inhabitants are Muslims. Small groups of Christians gather in secret.
Report from the Christian Telegraph