Abu Sayyaf guerrillas captured the Burnhams and 18 others on May 27 at a resort off the island of Palawan.
Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim separatist group, initially said the Burnhams would be beheaded if its demands were not met. NTM says the captive who was released reported that Martin Burnham has a superficial back injury from a shrapnel wound. Second-hand reports indicate that the Burnhams are an encouragement to their fellow captives.
Robert Klamser, executive director of Crisis Consulting International in Ventura, California, told Christianity Today that there are on average one or two missionary kidnappings annually.
"Generally, we are seeing increasing danger to evangelical missionaries throughout the world," Klamser says. "Two major factors that contribute to the increasing danger are the destabilization and instability in many regions that followed the end of the two-Superpower era. … and the increasing missions push into areas dominated by other religious systems."
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New Tribes Mission Online has regular updates on the Burnhams.
Martin Burnham was allegedly injured during fighting between Abu Sayyaf and government forces. The rebels escaped and left bodies behind. An Abu Sayyaf spokesman said Burnham's injury was "nothing to worry about."
The BBC reported that the Philippines has been called the kidnapping capital of the world.
Christianity Today coverage of the Burnham kidnapping includes:
New Tribes Missionaries Kidnapped | Muslim rebels in Philippines threaten to kill Martin and Gracia Burnham and 18 others if military intervenes. (May 29, 2001)
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