Christian missionaries captured by pirates

Published February 20th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson


Did you guys hear about this?

An American couple that has sailed the world with a yacht full of Bibles was hijacked by Somali pirates, and the U.S. said it is assessing possible options.

The Adams — who are members of the Marina del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California — run a Bible ministry, according to their website, and have been distributing Bibles to schools and churches in remote villages in areas including the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia.

The pirates from Puntland are not hardline Islamists and the fact the Adams carry Bibles is not likely to be a problem. Pirates in Puntland are known to spend their ransom spoils on alcohol, drugs and prostitutes.

[More at MSNBC]

I feel bad for the captured missionaries, and their families.  Aside from the fact that the coast of Somalia is one of the dumbest places in the world to be sailing and they should have known better, they are in a nightmare situation now. 

I have to wonder, though, did they sail into the region with the idea that their God would protect them from the well-known threat of pirates in the area? They are on a Quest after all. Here’s a quote from their website, “Another aspect of our travels is friendship evangelism – that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles.”

When they saw the pirates approaching, what did they think? Was their faith shaken? I suspect it wasn’t. But maybe there was a moment before they were taken hostage when they were forced to question whether their God wanted them out there distributing thousands of Bibles. Maybe they saw this as a sign to stop.  Or maybe they saw it as a sign to evangelize to the pirates?  In any case, Pastafarians wish for your safe release, Adams family.


Sad, unexpected news … the US Military discovered all 4 Americans killed by the pirates.

Four Americans taken hostage by Somali pirates off East Africa were shot and killed by their captors Monday, the U.S. military said. The deaths mark the first time U.S. citizens have been killed in a wave of pirate attacks plaguing the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean for years.

It remained unclear why the pirates — who are widely seen as rational, if ruthless businessmen — would kill their only form of leverage. U.S. naval officials insisted they had not launched a rescue operation and are still trying to piece together events.

Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, the head of Dryad Maritime Intelligence, said he was confounded by the turn of events.

"We have heard threats against the lives of Americans before but it strikes me as being very, very unusual why they would kill hostages outright," he said, adding that the pirates must realize that killing Americans would invite a military response.

The military said U.S. forces have been monitoring the Quest for about three days, since shortly after the pirate attack on Friday. Four Navy warships were involved, including an aircraft carrier.

[More at NPR]

I’ve gotten some emails that I should take this post down because it’s “not funny anymore”.  But it was never meant to be funny and it’s certainly not meant to be now.  From all indications, the two couples were great people, and so what if some of us did not agree with their chosen missionary work – we are compassionate human beings who feel this is a tragic event.  Our condolences go out to the families. 

120 Responses to “Christian missionaries captured by pirates”

  1. tekHedd says:

    Well, you know how it is with Christians. Of course their faith wasn’t shaken, now they are martyrs. Denial is not affected by logic. “Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.” (I’m not necessarily down with everything Ayn Rand says, but this seems relevant.)

    And yes, I feel bad they were captured by “pirates,” the modern violent kind who probably will actually treat them badly, not the real, historical kind that were kind and helpful. :(

  2. Gordon_UK says:

    My thoughts are with the couple in question.

    Bobby, not so sure this fits here.

    • stylusmobilus says:

      No, it fits well. We’re humanists, that hold the sanctity of human life very high. Mine are too, mate, in fact I wondered how they were faring over a cup of coffee this morning.


      • stylusmobilus says:

        …aaaand now I know. My thoughts go out to their families, and they honour Christianity by paying the ultimate sacrifice for their faith and belief.

        You could call these people pirates, but I have a better word I believe- scum.

        Saddest news I have heard this week.

  3. Talynknight says:

    Unfortunate update, they were all shot and killed by the pirates. The pirates were mostly captured a few of them were shot and killed as well.


    • Jameswaldo says:

      That’s not the right link. It’s news about an entirely different pirate party.

  4. TiltedHorizon says:

    According to the latest news reports, all four people taken hostage on the Quest were killed. My condolences to the families.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      It’s certain that we all agree. I wonder if there is anything constructive that the Church’s communicants can possibly suggest or discuss. One thing noted in the news accounts was that the pirates seem to have taken an irrational – most of all from their own point of view! – turn away from a “strictly business” approach of collecting money for the return of hostage ships and people.

  5. Iron Mike says:

    Unfortunately these poor souls have been killed by the pirates.

  6. Iron Mike says:


  7. Lioss says:

    Unfortunately they were killed.I just hear about that during the news in France…
    Sad for their families.

  8. DoctorSerizawa says:

    Gruesome ending, not funny anymore.

Leave a Reply