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We are writing you regarding a campaign by the United Methodist Church (UMC) Bishops asking the Philippine government to release three UMC missionaries. The UMC has begun a public campaign urging the Philippine government to release one of their Global Mission Fellows, Tawanda Chandiwana, from detention and allow him, along with Miracle Osman (a Global Mission Fellow) and Adam Shaw (a Global Missionary) to leave the Philippines immediately. Tawanda was detained for overstaying his visa, though he had initiated the process for an extension under a tourist visa. The Bureau of Immigration withheld Miracle’s passport, restricting her ability to return to Malawi. Adam is ready to return home to the United States, but is unable to do so without approval to leave the country.
MPI has been a partner with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for at least five years. We have received four Global Mission Fellows (previously mission interns) during this time at MPI and have had several more participate in our Annual Peacebuilding Training. Tawanda and Miracle participated in MPI’s 2018 Annual Peacebuilding Training. Tawanda was picked up by agents from the Bureau of Immigration on May 9, 2018, from the venue (Mergrande Ocean Resort) where we were holding this year’s annual peacebuilding training. The agents did not inform either MPI or the management of Mergrande of this operation, even though Tawanda allegedly went willingly with the agents.
Because of our historical ties with UMC and the fact that Tawanda was removed from the premises where we were holding our Annual Peacebuilding Training and because of our own concern for justice in this case, we feel it important to inform you of this campaign and invite you to participate.
We invite you to visit umcmission.org/LetThemLeave where you can find more information. There you will find a link to sign a petition as well as the official press release and statement of the Council of Bishops.
You may certainly contact us if you have any questions regarding this case, but we encourage you to visit umcmission.org/LetThemLeave or contact the United Methodists Global Ministries through Dan Curran at DanCurran@CurranPR.com for details.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.