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We Love Him Very Much': Boston Church Praying for American Pastor Abducted in Egypt
Rev. Jean Louis, the son of kidnapped Rev. Michel Louis, joins parishioners to pray for his father's safe return. (Photo: AP)

We Love Him Very Much': Boston Church Praying for American Pastor Abducted in Egypt

"Waiting for the best"

(The Blaze/AP) -- An American pastor was on a trip to retrace Jesus' steps through the Holy Land when he was abducted in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, according to reports.

While kidnappings have grown more common in the Sinai Peninsula since the fall of Egypt's longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, the most recent abduction is significant because, unlike the others, it has not been resolved quickly.

(Related: 'They've Been Given Tea and a Traditional Bedouin Meal': Two More Americans Kidnapped in Egypt)

While family and church members prayed Sunday for the Boston Pentecostal pastor and the two others who were also kidnapped, their abductor said he has had conversations with intelligence officials about the hostages' release.

In addition to the pastor, a 39-year-old Boston woman who was traveling with the same church group and a tour guide were abducted.

Jirmy Abu-Mashu explained to the Associated Press that he kidnapped the trio Friday, and will not release them until his uncle is released from prison.

He claimed his uncle was jailed after refusing to pay a bribe to police.

Abu-Mashu elaborated that when the two intelligence officials came to his home Saturday, he relocated the prisoners.

However, he did give some some yet-unverified information on the state of the American hostages.

The 61-year-old pastor, who is diabetic, reportedly left his medicine on the bus, and Abu-Mashu said security officials will have to help with retrieving it.

He also said Michel was tired and sleeping a lot, which could have something to do with the man's medical state.

The Associated Press has video of the church-goers praying for the hostages' safe release, and interviews with the parishioners:

The AP was not allowed to speak with the hostages directly.

Abu-Mashu claimed that his imprisoned uncle is diabetic, like the pastor, and claimed that his relative is not getting the medical assistance he needs.  He stressed that whatever happens to his uncle, will happen to the hostages.

“If my uncle gets 50 years (in prison), they will stay with me for 50 years. If they release him, I will release them,” he said simply.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought up the case of the two kidnapped Americans when she met with her Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Saturday.

(Related: 'Monica, Monica': Hillary Clinton's Visit to Egypt Seemingly Falls Flat Amid Harsh Protests)

She did not seem to get far in this aspect of the negotiations.

The Rev. Jean Louis said he does not know if or when his father may be released, and he is concerned about his safety and health.

He spoke to reporters after a church service in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood to pray for the captives. He said his father was on a church trip with 23 other members of the clergy and worshippers when he was abducted.


Batrawy contributed to this report from Cairo, Egypt.

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