American Baptists charged with kidnapping

The World

Ten members of an Idaho-based Baptist community have been charged with kidnapping and criminal association in Haiti, after attempting to spirit 33 Haitian children into the Dominican Republic. The group says it only intended to help the children and it claims they were orphans. But Haitian athorities don’t buy the story and the group’s members face prison terms of up to 15 years if convicted.

We speak with Marc Johnson, the president of Gallatin Public Affairs in Boise and long-time Idaho resident whose career has included decades in journalism and government. He tells us that the community in Idaho has reacted in a characteristically reserved way to the story. We ask whether the fiercely independent nature of residents in a state such as Idaho contributes to the growth of groups that are fervently religious and not afraid of appearing to operate on the fringe of the mainstream.

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