Yemeni Missionaries' Killer Had Earlier Sought Their Help

Southern Baptists fight hometown, and other stories from online sources around the world

Investigation into Yemen missionary attack continues as Baptists turn control of hospital over to Muslim government
Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, the Muslim extremist accused of killing three American missionaries at the Jibla Baptist Hospital December 30, sought help with his wife at the medical center a year ago, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"In a society that prizes large families, Kamel said his wife was plagued with miscarriages."

But the care given by the missionaries did not dissuade him. "Kamel's decision to kill the hospital workers, either because they were Christian, because they were Americans—or both—appears to have been made with care and patience," reports Michael Slackman. "What seems clear …   is that the killings were part of an overall plan to attack people viewed as enemies of Islam."

Residents of Jibla and the media are quick to point out that Kamel wasn't a local, and that most area Muslims were outraged by the attack and appreciated the hospital's work. But local Muslim leaders weren't so supportive. "They used to preach against us for hours, especially in Friday prayer," nurse practitioner Kaye Rock tells the Times. Now, says Slackman, "The critical sermons have stopped, at least publicly."

They may not be silent just out of respect for the dead. After all, since the shooting, control of the hospital has passed from the Baptists to the Muslim government. And many Baptists are not happy about it. Some of those killed in the attack had recently tried to stop the handover.

"If the Muslim extremist who attacked Jibla Baptist Hospital Dec. 30 was trying to rid Yemen of that country's most prominent Christian ministry, it might look like he succeeded," begins a dispatch from Associated Baptist Press. "The hospital ...

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