Brunswick man, two others detained in Philippines while doing missionary work
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church have asked for the return of three missionaries, including a Northeast Ohio man, who has been detained by the country's government, officials said.
Adam Shaw of Brunswick; Tawanda Chandiwana of Zimbabwe; and Miracle Osman of Malawi, have been prevented from leaving the Republic of the Philippines -- each for different reasons with the Philippines' Bureau of Immigration, according to a news release from The United Methodist Church.
The three missionaries were in Davao City, involved in an international fact-finding investigation of human rights concerns in General Santos Province last February. The group eventually came under government surveillance, officials said.
"We are convinced that our missionaries pose no threat to the peace and tranquility of the Philippines, " the news release said. "Our request is that Chandiwana be released from detention, granted an exit visa, and be allowed to leave the country as expeditiously as possible. We ask that Osman's passport be returned and she be granted an exit visa, and that Shaw be allowed to depart safely."
A Council of Bishops spokesman said officials do not know why the three were placed under surveillance and detained but they are working with the Philippine government to determine a solution.
Shaw has been told an order for him to leave will come soon, but details on why he was captured are unknown, the spokesman said.
Chandiwana and Osman have yet to be told when they will be allowed to return back to their countries.
Chandiwana was detained May 4 and sent to a detention center. His name was found on a "watchlist" and he's been charged with overstaying his missionary visa, authorities said.
Osman was renewing her visa when her passport was confiscated by government officials. Without a passport it makes it impossible for her to leave the county on her own. She has asked her passport, which is owned by her country, to be returned, the release said.
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