U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) once again called for the release of 11 pastors arrested in connection to Mountain Gateway in Nicaragua on Thursday.

"American citizens from Alabama and Texas and their Nicaraguan partners have made it their mission to spread the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Nicaraguan people for nearly 30 years," Moore said. "Evangelists of Mountain Gateway Ministries have worked across the country leading on disaster recovery, feeding and clothing and planting churches with the support of the assistance of the Nicaraguan government."

"In January, however, the attorney general of Nicaragua began pursuing charges against three U. S. Citizens associated with Mountain Gateway and 11 Mountain Gateway Nicaraguan pastors on trumped-up charges of money laundering and organized crime," he continued. "In addition to being barred from meeting with their legal representation and their families, the lawyers on their case were denied access to the case files and to other relevant documentation against the pastors."

The pastors were sentenced to prison and a combined $1 billion in fines. Their properties were seized, and Moore said it was all because of religious persecution. He introduced a House resolution to condemn the Nicaraguan government and call for the release of the prisoners.

"I am praying for a swift resolution to this situation so these pastors can be safely returned to their families and continue sharing the gospel," he said. "I'm grateful to the members of Congress who joined me for this special order to highlight this issue and call the Nicaraguan government to release the imprisoned pastors immediately."

Mountain Gateway Pastors Alabama News
Mountain Gateway pastors imprisoned. Photo: ADF International and Mountain Gateway Order, Inc.

Mountain Gateway was founded by Pinson native Jon Britton Hancock. The Nicaraguan government has also threatened to arrest him if he returns to the country. Hancock told 1819 News he had no issues with the government there until a series of large events bringing people to Christ were held last summer.

Moore thanked U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) for joining him in the special order.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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