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Baptist and American, but not American Baptists

February 10, 2010 | 10:05 am

An editorial in Tuesday’s Times begins, “The 10 American Baptist missionaries arrested on charges of abducting children from earthquake-ravaged Haiti had circulated fliers promising to give orphans … a better life in the Dominican Republic.”

The missionaries arrested Feb. 4 are from a Baptist church in Idaho, and they are Americans. However, as Sandra Rogers of the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles points out, they are not American Baptists.

American Baptist is “a title belonging to the churches who are part of the American Baptist Churches USA based in Valley Forge, Pa.,” Rogers wrote.

First Baptist Church of L.A. is part of this denomination; the arrested missionaries’ church, Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, is not.

Editorial Pages Editor Nicholas Goldberg said that although the editorial did not say the missionaries were part of American Baptist Churches USA, he could see Rogers’ point.

--Deirdre Edgar

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