Guinea Family “Kidnaps” Wife Of Native Missionary
(BosNewsLife) Masalu’s wife kidnapped by family, missionaries say. CONAKRY , GUINEA (BosNewsLife)– A native missionary in Guinea was without his wife Thursday, April 20, after she was kidnapped by her family, in a case that has come to symbolize tensions between minority Christians and members of other traditional religious groups in the West African nation.
New Tribes Mission (NTM) told BosNewsLife that the troubles began after native missionary Masalu decided to become a Christian and help NTM’s representative Kirk Rogers “learn the Landuma language to translate the Bible” for Landumas, the local ethnic group here.
“I know you are telling the truth, but I’m afraid of the truth and all the trouble it will cause me,” Masalu said in a testimony about his conversion, obtained by BosNewsLife
After news of his conversion spread across the village, “the family of his wife, Fatumata, came to take her back because he had left the traditional religion,” NTM said. “Fatumata remains with her family, even though she wants to return to her husband,” the group added.
He also received an angry letter from the uncle of his first wife, Kadi, who he married before he became an evangelical Christian, missionaries said. Her uncle, who is the head of the local military police, demanded to send Kadi back to her family.
“Because he continues in the Christian faith and has become a leader, the uncle feels he has betrayed the traditional religion. If he does not send Kadi to her family, the uncle has threatened to come get her himself,” said NTM.
Despite the setback Masalu continues his missionary activities for NTM and a local church. “Masalu continued to grow in the Lord and to serve Him faithfully. He and a fellow believer, Salu, were chosen to serve the Lord’s Supper. Then the Landuma Church commissioned him to serve as their first missionary,” the organization explained.
He is also teaching evangelistic Bible lessons to a group of Landumas in his village “and helping disciple the believers,” NTM said.
Christians comprise just 8 percent of the mainly Muslim population of nearly 10 million in Guinea while about 7 percent holds indigenous beliefs, according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Religion is playing an important role in everyday decisions of locals, at a time when the region is still reeling from major upheavals. Guinea has had only two presidents since gaining its independence from France in 1958.
Lansana Conte came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou Toure. He held and won democratic elections only nearly a decade and was reelected in 2003.
Unrest in nearby Sierra Leone and Liberia has spilled over into Guinea on several occasions over the past decade, threatening stability and creating humanitarian emergencies, analysts say.