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Missionary Threatened and Told to Stop Her Ministry in Honduras

ICC Note: Honduran police target Christians for working among gangs for fear that they are supporting the gangs.

By Glenn Penner

4/3/07 Honduras (VOMC) – In the evening of Monday, March 26, American missionary Teresa Searcy, members of a visiting medical team, and local believers were terrorized by members of the Honduran police intent on intimidating them because of their ministry among local gangs. After dropping off Teresa and her team off at the home of a young man who was unable to go to the hospital for surgery, their young driver was surrounded by police two blocks later, tied up and threatened to be shot if he did not tell them where the American missionary was. When he refused to cooperate, they threatened to plant a “dirty gun” on him that would incriminate him in a crime. Police then proceeded to fire their weapons at the surrounding homes and went house to house, asking the occupants, “Are you a Christian?” If the answer was “Yes” they tore up the house and held guns to the heads of the residents as they searched for Ms. Searcy. Some of the occupants claim to have been robbed during the searches.

When the police finally came to the home where the team was, Searcy was interrogated and threatened with arrest but refused to be intimated by their illegal activities. Finally, after making several calls, the police left and the foreign missionaries and driver were released.

Ms. Searcy claims that she has been repeatedly threatened over the past six years with violence by Honduran police because of her ministry. She brings medical teams from the USA to perform surgeries on the poor and works with the 18th Street Gang in particular, and has Bible studies for them. She has also started a bakery, an iron shop and a wood shop inside the Tamara Prison to help gang members learn skills in order to be able to make money in the future. The government has no money for a rehabilitation program for prisoners even though they are required to provide one. This calling has placed her in harm’s way with the Honduran police. They have publicly accused her of funding the gangs because of her work with them.

On March 30, Searcy visited the Minister of Public Security of Honduras, Alvaro Romero, but was met with indifference. He told her that he will be reporting to the US embassy that they will arrest Searcy if she is caught helping the gang outside of the prison. For Searcy that means bringing healing to gang members who are sick, giving food to those who are hungry, and providing spiritual counseling…[Go To Full Story]