Story number 2 for 11 Mar 2002

By March 11, 2002

(Philippines)–Next, American missionary Martin Burnham says his Abu Sayyaf captors were targeting Westerners because of U.S. policies in the Middle East. Burnham made the statements in a video obtained by Reuters last week. While there are validity questions about the video, the issue remaining is one of security. SEND International’s Phil Burns says they take their cues from the local believers. “We don’t see any increased activity against Westerners in relationship to anything since 9-11. I read the articles from the Abu Sayyaf in relationship to the release of the Burnhams. That may have as much to do with the Abu Sayyaf trying to give themselves some sense of legitimacy by claiming political agenda for this, where in effect, the whole action with the Burnhams is banditry.” Burns encourages people to pray. “We need to pray that, as people in the West, we see this as an opportunity to bring Christ to people that need Him, and not to pick up any kind of a negative backlash against outreach to Muslim people.”

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