December 11, 2013

Christmas Card Campaign to Offer Support for Imprisoned Members

South Pacific Division,
with Adventist News Network staff

Seventh-day Adventist human rights advocates are urging
church members worldwide to send encouragement in the form of Christmas cards
to three members in prison on what church officials say are false charges.

More than a year and a half has passed since Seventh-day Adventist pastor
Antonio Monteiro and church elder Bruno Amah were imprisoned in the West
African country of Togo in a criminal case without evidence or a trial. In a
recent move, their trial was again postponed until January 10, 2014.

<strong>CHRISTMAS CARD CAMPAIGN:</strong> Seventh-day Adventists are urged to send Christmas cards to several members who are unjustly imprisoned. In this file photo, Adventist pastor Antonio Monteiro has been held in prison in Lomé, Togo, since March of 2012. Here he washes the feet of a fellow inmate during a communion ceremony in January 2013. [ANN]Cards for Monteiro and Amah, preferably in English or French, can be sent to
the Sahel Union office. The address is:

Antonio Monteiro / Bruno Amah

Union du Sahal

B.P. 2157

Lomé, Togo

“Everyone can do something for our members in prison. We want to show them that
they are not alone; that they have brothers and sisters praying for them,” said
John Graz, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist
world church. “Every Christmas card they will receive will be an

In March 2012, a Togolese man implicated Monteiro and Amah as conspirators in
an alleged “blood trafficking” network. A police search of the pastor’s home
and local church headquarters produced no evidence, but Monteiro and Amah have
not been released.

Seventh-day Adventists around the world have rallied to show support for their
brothers in Christ. Last December, a social media campaign calling for a day of
prayer helped raise awareness of the situation in Togo. Facebook followers
interacted with ‘Pray for Togo’ content more than 50,000 times while the
Twitter event hashtag reached more than 7 million users. Members are encouraged
to visit the website and sign the petition.

Church leaders are also urging members to send Christmas cards of encouragement
Sajjad Masih, who is being held in prison in
Pakistan on charges of blasphemy, despite his accuser’s subsequent retraction
and prosecutors’ failure to produce evidence of his involvement.

Cards may be sent to Masih at:

Sajjad Masih

Pakistan Union

Post Box 32



Church officials have been working through legal procedures and diplomatic
channels to have the three men released.