A selection of news relevant to EKD and of press releases of EKD's partner churches and church bodies. News used with permission from Ecumenical News International and other agencies.
Bible School Students Murdered in Yemen
German Nurses Were On a Short-Term Hospital Internship
June 17, 2009
Sanaa, June 17 (idea) - Two German bible school students have been kidnapped and murdered in Yemen.
Anita G. (24) and Rita S. (26) were studying at the evangelical Brake Bible School in Lemgo (West Germany), as director Matthias Ruether confirmed to the evangelical news agency idea, June 16.
Both nurses were on a short-term internship at the Al Jumhuri hospital in Saada (North Yemen). It is supported by the humanitarian agency Worldwide Services in the Netherlands.
Anita G. and Rita S., members of a Baptist Church in Wolfsburg (North Germany), were abducted June 12 north of Saada on an excursion with a German couple and their three children, a British engineer and a South Korean teacher.
The two German women were first stabbed and then shot. Young-Sun I. (34) was also murdered, while the fate of the other hostages remains unclear. According to some unconfirmed press reports they have also been murdered.
Brake Bible School is in deep shock about the murder of the students. They were dedicated in their desire to help the needy. That was their sole motivation to go to Yemen. Both women belong to a Baptist church made up mainly of ethnic German emigrants from Russia.
Both the German and the South Korean governments have denounced the barbaric acts of violence. Because the hostages were brutally killed, some observes believe it likely that the terror network Al Qaida was involved.
In the last 15 years at least 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen. In most cases, they were set free after ransom payments.
It is not the first time that Muslim extremists have murdered hospital workers in Yemen. Two men killed three US-citizens at a Baptist hospital in Jibla, December 30, 2002. Another American was wounded. The culprits were later convicted and sentenced to death.
Yemen is one of the strictest Islamic countries. 99 percent of the 21 million inhabitants are Muslims. Small groups of Christians mostly gather in secret.