Three Christian missionaries missing in Middle East following attack by Muslim extremists

Three Christians in the Middle East who have been missing since Tuesday are said to have been abducted by Muslim extremists.

"Three of our missionaries are missing," Pastor Paul Ciniraj, the director of Bibles for Mideast, told WND.

Bible showing the first chapter of the Book of John, King James version. | Wikimedia Commons/John Snyder

According to the website of Bibles for Mideast -- a group that ministers to underground churches in the Middle East -- a 32-year-old pastor named Stephen, a 29-year-old pastor named Samuel, and a 30-year-old evangelist named James, never arrived home on the night of June 14.

Prior to their disappearance, the three missionaries were assaulted by unidentified people. Following a prayer service on June 12, they reportedly met someone on the road to whom they talked about Jesus. Under a street lamp, they explained verses from the Bibles that they were holding. Some people, which the website tagged as "extremists," came out of the dark and started beating the missionaries with iron pipes. The attackers were reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" and "kill them, kill them." The three Christians were rescued by the passengers of a bus, who took them to a hospital.

The three reportedly sensed that someone "with a cruel intention" was watching them at the hospital, so they asked the doctor to discharge them. On June 14, they took a taxi -- one without a taxi permit, which is common in the area -- but before boarding, they informed Pastor Paul that they would arrive at their home in around 45 minutes. The taxi already had two passengers, which the group says is also common.

The three never arrived home, and Bibles for Mideast claims that they were kidnapped and that the "driver and the fellow men were terrorists and they abducted them."

Pastor Paul was more cautious during his interview, saying, "We suspect they are kidnapped or abducted by [the] car driver himself with his friends who traveled as fellow passengers. We suspect they are terrorists. God knows."

A voluntary minister with Bibles for Mideast also went missing in Libya three months ago, with still no information on his whereabouts.