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17 Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti as Terror Increases in the Nation

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Tinnakorn jorruang/shutterstock.com Tinnakorn jorruang/shutterstock.com

The story of Christian missions can be summed up with one word: sacrifice. One of the great missionaries, C.T. Studd, said this: “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

This kind of sacrifice is now front-page news in many outlets. 16 American Christian missionaries and their families have reportedly been kidnapped by one of the most dangerous gangs in Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. They have even taken children as captives.

Dan Hooley, a former field director, said on Sunday morning that the adults taken were staff members for a group called Christian Aid Ministries. This ministry has just under 30 people in the country of Haiti. According to The New York Times, authorities from Haiti indicated that the group that was kidnapped included 16 Americans and 1 Canadian. And according to Dan Hooley, this included a 2-year-old and another young child among the group taken.

The perpetrators of the kidnapping were a part of a gang known as 400 Mawozo, according to law enforcement officials. This gang apparently controls the region where the missionaries were taken from.

The New York Times reported previously that 400 Mawozo had been creating terror for a number of months in the suburbs of that area. They were participating in armed combat with other rival gangs and they were responsible for the kidnapping of both people of business and others on the police force.

This horrific gang was known for producing a new kind of kidnapping in Haiti. They introduced kidnapping “en masse,” taking entire groups hostage while they were moving across the area in buses or while they were together in the street.

This group kidnapped “en masse” was an Ohio-based group. They were traveling by vehicle on Saturday to an area just north of Port-au-Prince. They had just visited an orphanage in Croix des Bouquets.

It was reported in The Washington Post that Christian Aid Ministries had sent out a “prayer alert,” stating that the whole group had been kidnapped by an armed gang.

The actual prayer alert stated, “The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done. Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”

It wasn’t long before a Biden administration official indicated that they were aware of the situation and were working to end the tragedy. The administration reiterated that the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad was one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.

Politico connected this recent kidnapping with the shooting of President Jovenel Moïse at his private residence on July 7th. They wrote that gang-related kidnappings had lessened since that shooting along with the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people in August.

But the bedlam has begun again with gangs demanding ransoms that range from just a few hundred dollars to more than $1 million, according to Haitian authorities. Just last month, a church leader was killed in front of his church in Port-au-Prince, and his wife was kidnapped. This is just one case in dozens of cases that have happened in the last few months.

In the first eight months of 2021, there have been 328 kidnappings according to Haiti’s National Police Force. There were just 234 kidnappings for all of 2020. These figures come from the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti known as BINUH.

Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph urged the United Nations Security Council earlier this month to strengthen the UN mission’s mandate in order to help ensure security and protection for civilians, according to a UN news release.