Slain Americans were delivering Bibles
February 22nd, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Slain Americans were delivering Bibles

Americans Jean and Scott Adam were on a mission to distribute Bibles around the world when their yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates, friends of the couple said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Central Command said the Adams, along with Philis Macay and Bob Riggle, had been killed by their captors.

A U.S. Navy ship had been trailing the captured Americans after their yacht, Quest, was overtaken by pirates on Friday.

“As (U.S. forces) responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors," the statement from U.S. Central Command said. "Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."

While their faith may not have played a role in their death, it was a motivating factor for their sailing adventure around the world.

“They were not proselytizing evangelicals," Scott Stolnitz, a friend of the couple, told CNN. "They were using their Bible mission as a way to break the ice in the Christian community, particularly in the Pacific.”

Stolnitz said the Adams were friendly and open to all. “These are your next-door neighbors in a lot of ways.”

Their pastor, Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson of Saint Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California, told CNN affiliate KABC the Adams were a retired couple with a heart for sharing their faith.

“They were very heartfelt in their response to this great gospel and they came to know Jesus in a very special way here,” Togerson said.

“Jean actually sang in our 11:30 choir Sunday mornings. Both of them had a great outreach, of course, through this ministry to take the scriptures, the Bibles, to places across the world. And they felt that call to do that, and that’s what they were doing I presume when this happened.”

The Adams' website chronicles their worldwide voyage, which included trips to New Zealand, China, Cambodia and Panama.

They also spoke openly about their faith on the site, saying the goal of the Bible distribution was, "friendship evangelism - that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles, which have been donated through grants and gifts, as we travel from place to place."

The Adams passed out Catholic Bibles from the American Bible Society and New International Version Bibles from the International Bible Society, according to their website. They said they brought two different versions of the Bible because, “Catholics have a slightly different Bible than Protestants. We carry both Bibles, and at several different reading levels.”

On their website they said many of the teachers and pastors who received the Bibles also used them for teaching English.

The Adams, Macay and Riggle had been traveling with yachts participating in the Blue Water Rally since their departure from Phuket, Thailand, rally organizers said Sunday in a statement on the event's website.

The group, which organizes long-distance group cruises, said the Quest broke off on February 15 after leaving Mumbai, India, to take a different route.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • California • Catholic Church • Christianity • United States • Violence

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soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. Joker

    What amazes me is how many do not know what the Council of Nicea was and what took place there.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Reality

    Time to eliminate these lowlife pirates and their Somalian rat dens!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  3. Ry

    Although I am deeply saddened by the horror that they went through, I applaud them for being so bold as to share (not force) their faith upon the world. All they were doing was standing up for what they believed in, just like all you people who feel the need to ramble on about your atheism are doing. You are also telling the world by posting your thoughts on a public website – so stop bashing people for being who they are and what they beleive in. Those were two amazing people that died doing what they felt was right. See you on the other side folks. God bless!!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  4. Porchiaknows

    There is No God.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  5. Kristine

    and I am a very stupid naive people who believes everything in the bible... and this planet is FLAT...

    February 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  6. Kristine

    The Bible is real. Jesus is real. Josh Mcdowell was an Athiest and tried to disprove the Bible but he couldn't. He had no choice but to believe in Christ. For those who are curious I sugest that you read "A Ready Defence" By Josh McDowell. This book has all his findings of proving the Bible to be true.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Magic


      And I might suggest: "Misquoting Jesus", "God's Problem" or "Jesus Interrupted" by Bart Ehrman, a NT Bible scholar who delved deeply into it on a quest to prove its truth, but came to a different mind-set.

      Also, Hector Avalos, an OT scholar who followed a similar path, and has written several books and papers.

      Those are just 2 examples - there are many more...

      February 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  7. BSDetector77

    Hello Romans from the 1st through 3rd century! (American Atheists) First, let me remind you that Romans felt the same way, and committed genocide for 300 years against Christians, guess who were the only people that helped the Romans when they got the plague? Christians. That is how Christianity gained popularity and acceptance to eventually be acceptable and legal to practice in the West. So dying for "pushing" their religion seems to have worked very well. Pushing your religion means forcing people....giving them food, water, and a Bible is not forcing anyone, Mr. Hitler.
    Second, I might remind athiests here that 2 folks from the religion of Atheists killed more people than anyone in history, Mao and Stalin, both killed many different religious people, and destroyed ancient cultures far superior to their own because "religion is poison"-Mao. So end your pushing(FORCING) of your religion (atheism) on everyone else.
    People should be able to read the Bible and decide for themselves, THAT is free thinking, you MTV sheeple. Why don't you just have a Bible book burning and build a concentration camp? Since you obviously identify with the form of fascism that kills Christians for merely handing someone a book, or speaking about their faith.

    Sure, there are terrible things done in the name of religion, including Christianity. But by blaming Christianity, you are admitting your own beliefs guilt for the LARGER crimes of Stalin and Mao.

    Now get angry, and continue your ad hominem. Just remember, you actually are a product of your TV, and indeed, the "sheep" you despise.

    I have heard responses to this earlier, they totally neglected to answer a single point. Mainly being that more people have been killed by Atheism than other religions, 30 million dead. Maoists continue to do so today. What about Tibet?

    Let's face it, as a Scientist and Engineer, not a Social Studies, or English major, I believe in Science, AND Christianity. I accept Darwin as my brother, and his discoveries as a confirmation of the agelessness of God. Only someone incapable of understanding metaphor and parables thinks faith disproves science, or science disproves faith. And only a truly hateful person, under the same mental desires as Hitler would claim that giving someone a Bible is "pushing" or oppressing anyone.

    Free thinkers are free thinkers, they don't avoid books, and prevent knowledge. They read, and decide for themselves. Unlike MTV has had you do. Turn off your TV folks. CNN, FOX, and MTV cannot teach you anything useful, and they only serve as a straw man for legitimate arguments at best and rarely at that.

    As for whether this is an "old argument," irrelevant, it's a valid argument that is true and that is why your answers were ad hominem and lacked any intellectual context. Dying without using violence, for a cause, is far better than dying committing it. MLK Jr. was a martyr to this effect, did he fail? I think not! Did Jesus fail? I think not! Did the Egyptians fail? I think not! Bless you!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Religion is poison

    distributing bibles in order to spew christian hatred makes this an evil world

    February 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • BSDetector77

      Guess you would like to pile the books up, burn them, and then gather Christians into concentration camps. Thanks Mao, killed 9 million lately? Gotta love those peace loving Atheists and their Eugenics! 😉

      February 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  9. Vince

    @Joker... so... are you saying that God = Devil? Bible is made from the devils??

    It is really logically make sense now. If there is really a God... He/She would save them instead of slaughtered them.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  10. BSDetector77


    Not a fraction as many as Maoist atheists, Mao, Stalin killed in the 20th century. Add the Islamic expansion, Christian Crusades, and European colonialism together and you still won't have them beat. Over 30 million killed by atheism. Humanism has failed. You believe in nothing, and you will die for nothing miserable and hopeless as a result, hopefull very peacefully, at an old age with nothing to be remembered for except for your ignorance.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jesse

      Might want to point the BS detector at yourself, but I don't think the meter goes that high.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  11. Joker

    So is anybody giving this credit to god or is it to the devil? I mean if they had survived, no doubt credit would have been given to their god.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  12. Chaos

    Handing out those bibles sure got God to cover their backs real good. Hand out bibles. Get slaughtered up. Its all part of God's plan.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  13. Vince

    @Porchiaknows and @Anglican

    Why don't you guys go and finish their mission? Don't worry, Christian God will protect you... Make sure you bring A LOT of bibles. It will definitely protect you. HA!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  14. Josh

    That is okay. They will go to heaven becuz they beleive in god. to all u siners will die.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  15. M7887

    There's always a silver lining in the worst tragedy. At least their religious propaganda wasn't distributed.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Josh

    To the sinner of the south east asia. Killing God's child. Must all burn in hell!!!! All the asians should burn in hell!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  17. RobinM

    Religion is a personal thing and should stay that way. These people were not wise when they decided to enter these waters that were notorious for pirates. The loss of life is tragic, but they shouldn't have been trying to push their beliefs on others.
    The real tragedy this week was the earthquake in New Zealand and the loss of life in Libya to the men and women fighting for democracy.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Kasey

      Just a friendly inquiry. Regardless of your religious position, you feel that democracy is worth fighting for?

      Fact, our countries foundation isn't built upon the ideas of Christianity-actually quite the contrary. I understand this. But that being said, why is it less noble for these two to deliver what they believe has the power to save across the ocean. What you call "pushing their beliefs" some would called in missionary work. Out of this flows good deeds, good works and often times service to those in needs. If living in unbelief, you can refer to it as "moralism".

      You speak of democracy. Why would you strike down these two in comparison to those killing and maiming to protect an outdated, overrated and completely licentious form of government that's only light is shown in comparison to the weakest of nations?

      February 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Another 4 deaths related to religion. That brings the body count to....

    Nevermind, I lost count after a billion.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. David

    Every idle word will be taken into account when we all get judged by Jesus Christ one day. All atheists will bow before him and will remember the horror of your disgusting comments for eternity in Hell. Dont go to Hell, go to Heaven. The only way is through Jesus Christ. Take it or leave it.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • ScottK

      I almost wish I could say something as violent and hateful like you'll "remember the horror of your disgusting comments for eternity in Hell." but I know there is no hell so regardless of your ties to violent extremists (Christian, Muslim, ect...) you will have the same reward as I.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • David

      Its a warning my friend. Its not God's will for no one to perish but for all to come to repentance. You can wish there was no school tomorrow and not show up but guess what, there is still school because you have no authority to cancel it. The same with Heaven and Hell, you can believe what you want, God has the final say.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jeff

      Scott, we could laugh our asses off at them after we're all dead and they realize it was all a hoax. Only problem is, we will all be dead and thats the real end.

      I guess we at least we get to chuckle for now.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Joker

      David, does that make you feel better? *golf clap* Yes yes, we will all bow to each parties respective god....allah, jesus, toothfairy, zues and the list goes on. Yes everybody elses god is false except yours...same goes for the muslims....all other gods are false except theirs. Beat that dead jesus some more. *rolling eyes* What other magical beings do you believe in?

      February 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Joker

      David, your faith is not in a mythical god, rather men. How many more of man's writings are you going to quote. lol

      February 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • chitowngal

      Joker, your screen name is very appropriate. You are a joke.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Gods little helper haha

      there is no god, the book was written by man to control man. They are just stories not facts. When are you people gonna wake up.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jeff

      If you ever have a chance, ask a "true christian" what the Council of Nicea was. Those that don't know will keep rattling quotes from their fairy tale book. Those that do know will end their argument at that very second. Constantine should be a bigger church figure than Jesus Christ himself. Had he not murdered the members of all other religons, the christians would be the same size as the wiccans right now and the muslims would probably hate us a lot less.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • jeff

      @Jeff – wow, where'd you find that tidbit? wiccanpedia?

      another jeff

      February 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • ScottK

      "You can wish there was no school tomorrow and not show up" I'm sorry, but that is the worst analogy for why I should believe in hell I have ever heard. The only things school & hell have in common (besides the teen angst and bad cafeteria food) is that you read fiction in school and hell is fiction...

      I have read the bible through cover to cover 3 times in the last 30 years (once w/ litteral translation w/ original hebrew & greek text ) and even though I now believe it to be mostly fiction with a stirring in of some historical people and places, I also know that the bible doesn't teach that its loving God would torture people for eternity for the few years of sin on earth. Hell = Sheol = the grave. Those in power who translated the bible from hebrew & greek made several key changes. They replaced the word Sheol with Hell and replaced the proper name "Yhwh" most often with Lord or God over 700 times. They did this for two main reasons, to control the people with fear of unending torture & to wipe away any sense that the God the Jews worshiped was no different than the Christ they worshiped since his followers often also refered to him as their Lord.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jasprice

      Im with david on this one

      February 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jeff

      @ other Jeff. Not that would be Europeon history. Every other religion was outlawed after the council. That is fact. If you were caught practicing, you were imprisoned or killed. Everyone was to become christian in an attempt to reunite the "Holy Roman Empire." Notice that before this period of time, it was just refrred to as the "Roman Empire." Constanine used religon to unite the people of his kingdom in an effort to reclaim the other half of the throne.

      February 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  20. chitowngal

    Dwight and Vince.....your ignorance of what Christianity is and why people "share" not "push" the bible really shows. It's so sad to see how much energy you both put into being so hateful and intolerant.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.