"Longtime missionaries David and Fiona Fulton were sentenced by a Gambian court to a year of hard labor last December after pleading guilty — in hopes of a lenient sentence — to sedition charges stemming from a wry comment e-mailed to a prayer list. ..."When you read further in this article, you find that Mr Fulton did say something questionable, but in its full context it is obvious that he was not advocating violence -- quite the contrary. But this does raise an important issue when it comes to emails and newsletters from the mission field. First of all, circumspection is called for, especially when dealing with the frustrations of seeing mindless sectarian violence all around you. And secondly, one of the recipients for reasons that are not particularly obvious decided to forward to message to Gambian authorities. I try to assume positive motives, but is it difficult in this case.
Messages from missionaries, especially in sensitive parts of the world, need to be kept confidential and not posted on websites, forwarded outside the original distribution list, and certainly not sent to a government not known for due process or humane prison conditions.
Prayers are needed for the Fultons and for those who have imprisoned them