The decade's most triggering comedy
A Haitian gang that has kidnapped 16 American missionaries and one Canadian missionary is now demanding $17 million in ransom — $1 million per person — according to officials.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Justice Minister Liszt Quitel said the FBI and Haitian police are in contact with the kidnappers and seeking the release of the missionaries, abducted last weekend just outside the capital Port-au-Prince by a gang called 400 Mawozo.”
“Among the missionaries are five children, Mr. Quitel said, one an 8-month baby and the others 3, 6, 14 and 15 years old,” WSJ reported.
“We are trying to get them released without paying any ransom,” said Quitel. “This is the first course of action. Let’s be honest: When we give them that money, that money is going to be used for more guns and more munitions.”
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden has been briefed on the situation. She added, “The FBI is part of a coordinated U.S. government effort to get the U.S. citizens involved to safety.”
“The former field director, Dan Hooley, said Sunday morning that all of the adults were staff members for the group [Christian Aid Ministries], which has fewer than 30 people in the country,” The New York Times previously reported. “Local authorities said the group that was kidnapped included 16 Americans and one Canadian. Mr. Dooley said a 2-year-old and another young child were among them.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, “Law enforcement officials said that the gang, known as ‘400 Mawozo,’ controls the area where the missionaries were kidnapped.”
“The Ohio-based group was kidnapped as they were traveling by vehicle on Saturday to an area north of Port-au-Prince after visiting an orphanage in Croix des Bouquets,” The Daily Wire noted.
The Washington Post reportedly obtained a “prayer alert” from Christian Aid Ministries that said the “men, women and children” with the group had been abducted by an armed gang.
“The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done,” the prayer alert said, later adding, “Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”
Quitel reportedly said that the members of the group are being kept in a safe house outside Croix-des-Bouquets.
The gang struck earlier this year, as well, kidnapping a group of nuns and Catholic priests in April. “The five priests, two nuns and three of their relatives were released at the end of the month. Ransom was paid for just two of the priests, Mr. Quitel said,” The Journal reported.
On Monday, Christian Aid Ministries released a statement about the kidnapping:
We are entering the third day since seventeen of our workers were kidnapped by a gang in Haiti. The media has carried this situation across the globe. Civil authorities in Haiti and the United States are aware of what has happened and are offering assistance. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are in earnest prayer.
We greatly appreciate the prayers of believers around the world, including our many Amish and Mennonite supporters. The Bible says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Join us in prayer that God’s grace would sustain the men, women, and children who are being held hostage. In a world where violence and force are seen as the solution to problems, we believe in God’s call to Christians to “…not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Pray that those being held hostage could find strength to demonstrate God’s love. The kidnappers, like all people, are created in the image of God and can be changed if they turn to Him. While we desire the safe release of our workers, we also desire that the kidnappers be transformed by the love of Jesus, the only true source of peace, joy, and forgiveness.