Photo Release: Tuberville Meets with Alabama Missionary Under Attack from Nicaraguan Government

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tuberville (R-AL) met with Jon Britton “Britt” and Audrey Hancock, the founders of Mountain Gateway, a Christian missionary organization that has served in North and Central America for more than a decade. In December, eleven pastors and missionaries affiliated with Mountain Gateway were arrested by the Nicaraguan government following a widely attended worship service. Additionally, it is believed that the Nicaraguan government has issued arrest warrants for at least three American citizens affiliated with Mountain Gateway. Senator Tuberville and the entire Alabama delegation recently sent a letter demanding Nicaraguan Ambassador Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker immediately provide a briefing on this blatant abuse of religious freedom.

The full letter can be found below or here.

“Dear Ambassador Campbell Hooker:

We write you today with deep concern regarding violations of religious freedom in Nicaragua, exemplified by the recent actions taken by your government against Mountain Gateway, a Christian organization with missionary presence in North and Central America for more than a decade. 

It has come to our attention that many individuals affiliated with Mountain Gateway have been arrested following a widely attended religious worship service approved by the Nicaraguan government. It is our understanding that these individuals have been without access to legal counsel, understanding of the allegations against them, or documentation of their alleged criminal charges. This follows the arrests of several members of the Catholic Church, Red Cross, and other non-governmental organizations in recent years by the Nicaraguan government.

In addition, it is believed that the Nicaraguan government has issued arrest warrants for at least three American citizens affiliated with Mountain Gateway, and that the Nicaraguan government has requested other Latin American countries arrest and extradite these individuals if they travel to any of these other countries.

Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, and we urge you and the government of Nicaragua to take prompt action to address all violations of this right–in upholding international human rights standards. As Members of the United States Congress, we have a vested interest in both the upholding of international religious freedom, and the safety and security of the American citizens we understand are currently being targeted for arrest and extradition by the Nicaraguan government. 

We request a briefing on the status of and allegations against the individuals affiliated with Mountain Gateway in Nicaragua within 10 days of receipt of this letter.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue, and we look forward to your response, which can be sent to Laura Titus ( with the office of Congressman Robert Aderholt.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.