WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The plight of Suhad Misaad, the wife of a Gaza Baptist minister who has not been allowed to return home by Israeli authorities after a visit to her family in Jordan, has come to the attention of the Baptist World Alliance.
In a plea for compassion, the BWA has requested the Israeli Ambassador to the United States to ask his government to give extra permission for her to return to her husband, Hana Misaad, who is the pastor of a small church in Gaza.
In a letter to the Ambassador, Denton Lotz, General Secretary of the BWA, the global organization of Baptists said, ?We are very concerned that Suhad Misaad, wife of Hana Misaad who visited her relatives in Jordan, has not been allowed back into Gaza. We feel that this is very unfair and call upon you and your government to give extra permission for Mrs. Suhad Misaad to return to her husband.
?We are very concerned,? Lotz said, ?about the state of our minority Baptist groups in all of the Middle East and Israel. For centuries Baptists have suffered discrimination, and therefore, have had a long relationship understanding minority situations of our Jewish friends and the nation of Israel.?
This entire incident began when Suhad Misaad, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian traveled to Jordan to visit family members eight months ago.
Following attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers against Israeli civilians and the subsequent occupation of Palestinian areas by the Israeli government, security in and around Gaza, a particularly troubled area, has been extremely tight.
The plight of Hana and Suhad Masaad was first publised in "Come and See" Web site, the Christian web site from Nazareth.
In a pastoral letter in April, the BWA General Secretary called on world leaders to do everything possible for peaceful solutions for the long-standing tensions in that area.
He also assured Baptists throughout the Middle East of the concern, love, and prayers of their worldwide community of faith.