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Pastors in the News

Mission to Milosevic

One pastor's part in freeing the captives in Yugoslavia.

When James T. Meeks boarded a plane for Yugoslavia last April, he knew the journey would be risky. With NATO bombs falling over Belgrade and an unpredictable war criminal running the nation, it was not the ideal time to visit the Balkans.

Meeks, pastor of Salem Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side, was accompanying civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson on his controversial trip during the Kosovo crisis.

Jackson's delegation—comprised of clergy from Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim traditions—had received a formal invitation to visit church leaders in Yugoslavia, but they also had a more urgent motive: persuading Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to release Steven Gonzales, Andrew Ramirez, and Christopher Stone, the three American soldiers captured by Serb forces on March 31.

"Before we went, we wanted a guarantee that we'd be able to meet Milosevic, and that we could ...

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