Were ten U.S. Baptists attempting to rescue or to kidnap 33 Haitian children? Because they attempted to remove the children from Haiti without authorization from the Haitian government, without coöperation from any recognized aid agency, and without even checking to make sure the children actually were orphans, it looks like kidnapping.
The ten were stopped while trying to cross the Haitian border into the Dominican Republic. To quote an Associated Press story posted on CNN’s web site:
The church group’s own mission statement said it planned to spend only hours in the devastated capital, quickly identifying children without immediate families and busing them to a rented hotel in the Dominican Republic without bothering to get permission from the Haitian government.
This sounds more like a raid than a rescue mission. Some of the abducted children have living parents or other close relatives in Haiti. In essence, the Baptist group literally swept-up children as they came across them, promising they were going on a “holiday”.
That “holiday” turned out to be an illegal adoption scheme. Another quote from the AP story:
The Idaho churches had elaborate plans before the earthquake to “provide a loving Christian homelike environment” for up to 200 Haitian and Dominican boys and girls in the Magante beach resort, complete with a school and chapel as well as villas and a seaside cafe catering to adoptive U.S. parents.
“One of the reasons that our church wanted to help is because we believe that Christ has asked us to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world, and that includes children,” Henry, the senior pastor, said.
The speaker is Reverend Clint Henry of the Central Valley Baptist Church of Idaho. No mention is made if the church was planning to charge for these “adoptions”. But the underlying meaning is clear: in its arrogance this church group feels it knows what is best for these children, regardless of any laws they might break, any families they might harm, or any other religious traditions the children have been raised in. And if they did plan to take money for the “adoptions”, they become traffickers in kidnapped children, victimizing the children and their lawful families for material gain.
Haiti has been exploited throughout its over 200 year history, primarily by the United States government, business interests, and religious groups who claim to be “helping” the Haitians through the indoctrination Reverend Henry spoke of: taking the gospel to the whole world, whether the world wants it or not. Much like communism during the 20th century they seem to dream of global hegemony. And they seem to think their beliefs place them above such temporal authorities as governments, laws, and human rights.