Haitian Gang Demands $17M Ransom for Kidnapped Missionaries

Photo courtesy of Haiti Bible Mission

The Haitian gang that recently kidnapped 17 American and Canadian missionaries are now demanding $17 million in ransom — $1 million per person.

The 17 missionaries are members of the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. They were kidnapped Saturday by the notorious 400 Mawozo gang, a group that’s gained increasing power in the last three years and essentially controls Port-au-Prince suburb Croix-des-Bouquets.

Among those kidnapped are an 8-month-old infant and four children ages 3, 6, 14, and 15-years-old. The American FBI and Haitian authorities are working to negotiate the group’s release.

Rising Gang Activity

Reported kidnappings in Haiti have risen by 550% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year.

For other mission agencies in Haiti like Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), the rise in gang threats has presented challenges for ministry.

MAF’s Latin America regional director Dave McCleery says, “The gang activity is becoming a little more mobilized and a little more widespread. We do feel like we have to be more vigilant and so we’ve raised our threat level there for our staff.”

Between the earthquake in August, the assassination of the president, and deteriorating government stability, many Haitians are growing fearful and desperate.

“Some of the gang activity and people taking things into their own hands are in a very desperate situation,” McCleery says. “That’s a lot of what we’re seeing is the desperation there. And that desperation, unfortunately, will lead to cutting off resources flowing from the United States and North America because of travel risk and those types of things.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh

CALL TO ACTION

  • Please pray for the safe release of the mission group.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to spiritually encourage the missionaries in captivity.
  • Pray for the radical salvation of the Haitian gang kidnappers.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for mission agencies like MAF in Haiti.