SILVER SPRING, Md. — On November 20, 2018, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists released a ransom video featuring several hostages who appear to have been taken from the lay membership, though no churches have yet reported missing members.
The hostages, who are from a variety of ages and ethnicities, appear to be under duress while reading from a prepared script that calls on the Church to unite under the General Conference and its decisions, or else.
The General Conference has publicly taken responsibility for the video, posting it to several of its social media channels and announcing that the hostages will be released once unity is achieved.
Though it’s unclear when the hostages were taken, they appear to be well-nourished and otherwise physically healthy. Of concern to fellow lay members, however, is their emotional well-being and the likelihood of Stockholm Syndrome setting in if they are not freed in a timely manner. Individuals viewing the video on Tuesday were most concerned by the small children who were featured in the video, forced to read the GC’s declarations.
Appeals have been made to churches, conferences, unions, and divisions across the globe, but these organizational entities have a firm stance against negotiating with terrorists, which has resulted in delays rescuing the hostages.
Of particular note is the fact that the hostages, who all appear to be from North America, were taken right before the American Thanksgiving holiday. What is usually a time of celebration of family and togetherness has instead been turned into a fight for freedom.
Updates on the hostage situation, when available, will be posted here. In the meantime, please join us in praying for the hostages as well as those responsible for this unfortunate situation.
Special thanks to Ally for the guest post