MAF’s Ryan Koher and two South African volunteers have been detained since November 4 on suspicion of helping Islamist insurgents in Cabo Delgado.

An American missionary pilot has been detained for nearly a month in Mozambique on suspicion of supporting insurgents in the southern African nation.

Ryan Koher, 31, serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) through its Mozambican partner Ambassador Aviation Ltd. (AAL), had been due to fly vitamins and other supplies to church-run orphanages in the Montepuez district in the troubled Cabo Delgado Province in the far north.

But he was detained November 4 along with two South African volunteers in the coastal city of Inhambane, far to the south.

The two South Africans, 77-year-old W. J. du Plessis and 69-year-old Eric Dry, had brought in the supplies but police stopped them from being loaded aboard Koher’s Cessna aircraft.

Koher has now been moved to a maximum security prison in Maputo Province, southern Mozambique.

MAF says Koher is innocent. Its president and CEO, David Holsten, called today on the Mozambican authorities to release the pilot so that he can be reunited with his wife and two sons before Christmas.

“I urge Christians around the world to pray for Ryan’s safety and swift release, and call on those in power both in Mozambique and here in the US to do everything they can to resolve this wrongful detainment,” said Holsten in a statement.

“Ryan is a caring and gentle individual,” he added. “Over the last couple of years, he and his wife have worked hard to learn the language and culture of Mozambique to better serve those who rely on our service.”

A profile of the family on MAF’s website says the couple takes inspiration from Matthew 12:21 by wanting “to share the hope of Christ with isolated people.”

Koher’s wife, Annabel, and two sons, Elias and …

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