Abducted missionary set free in Nigeria
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/06/15, 09:35 pm
An American missionary abducted last month from a school in Nigeria has been released and is safe, the Free Methodist Church USA said today.
In a statement on the church website, Bishop David Kendall said the Rev. Phyllis Sortor, 71, was released “into the care of authorities and Free Methodist Church leaders.” Armed men abducted her Feb. 23 from the Hope Academy compound in Emiworo, Kogi state, and demanded a ransom of nearly $300,000.
“We are deeply grateful to all who prayed for Phyllis’ safe return and praise God the family representative was able to secure her release,” Kendall said in his statement.
He provided no details about how the release was arranged.
“As a matter of sound policy, and to help protect the many, many people who helped secure Phyllis’ freedom, we will have no comment concerning the efforts that were undertaken to secure her release,” the bishop said.
Police said they were collaborating with security forces to secure her return.
Friends described Sortor as courageous, tenacious, and passionate about helping the people of Nigeria. Sortor, now a grandmother, is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, a Christian college, and has worked in Africa for many years. The school she now helps run is for ethnic Fulani children who belong to a predominantly Muslim group of semi-nomadic herders. She also has helped to bring wells and clean water to the community where she lives.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.