Service (ANS) - PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126
E-mail: email@example.com, Web Site:
Link To Cedars of Lebanon Website
Saturday, July 26, 2003
CANADIAN CHRISTIAN MINISTRY HEAD
ARRESTED FOR THE "CRIME" OF VISITING ISRAEL
Bruce Balfour has appealed
from his prison cell in Beirut for urgent help "before disappearing
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
BERUIT, LEBANON (ANS) -- Bruce Balfour, a British Colombia native,
who heads up Cedars of Lebanon, a Christian humanitarian ministry that was planning
to help replenish the mighty Cedars of Lebanon in the mountains of northern Lebanon,
was arrested at Beirut Airport in the evening of July 10 for the "crime" of visiting
Israel. (Pictured: Bruce Balfour).
This news has only become known after Balfour finally
managed to get a message out his cell to the Canadian Ambassador in Lebanon. In
the message, monitored by ANS, he wrote, "After 11 days of hell in Lebanese
prisons, I am finally allowed to make contact with you. I have tried more than
100 times to make contact but nothing worked."
He went on to say, "When I
arrived at the Beirut Airport on Thursday, July 10th, at about 9:30 PM on
British Airways flight 6703, I was arrested because a computer entry said that I
have been in Israel at one time, which is true. But please tell me where the
crime in this is. My freedom has been taken away and I have been treated
horribly. This is against all international law and moral code of every
civilized country in the world.
"I need to get out of here now. Every
hour multiples the possibility of me being moved to another location and
In a second message, Balfour said that he was in
Rumy Prison. "I am on the top floor with South Lebanon prisoners," he said. He
also asked for help from people around the world. "I desperately need your
help," he said. "I pray that you will not forsake me!"
ANS has now
learned from a source close to Balfour that the Canadian government is demanding
from the Lebanese government an explanation as to why they were not informed
earlier of his arrest.
Since receiving his urgent message, a Canadian
diplomat has visited Balfour in prison. A source said, "He appears to be in good
condition; he lost some weight and he is presently fasting. There is no time
limit for his release as he is not formally charged and the Canadian government
is pursuing this matter at this time.
"Bruce has requested some items
such as clothes, hygienic products and food items. All the items requested came
to a total of US$250.00. The Embassy in Lebanon is requesting the funds through
Ottawa, so they can purchase these items and deliver them to Bruce on their next
Bruce John Balfour was born in Westminster, BC, Canada, on July 6, 1951. He had
previously worked in Lebanon with a group called Lebanon Aid which provided
humanitarian relief during the civil war in the country.
Updates on his
situation are due to be posted on his website at http://www.cedarsoflebanon.ca/.
|Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now
living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and
international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic
Times). Wooding is also a syndicated columnist, and was for ten years a
commentator on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the
author of some 41 books, one of which is "Blind Faith" which he
co-authored with his 93-year-old mother Anne Wooding, who was a pioneer
missionary to the blind of Nigeria in the 1930s. Copies of this book are
available from the ASSIST USA office at PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA
92842-2126. His writings are on the ASSIST Website at: http://www.assistnews.net/
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