Two US and Canadian missionaries who were among 17 taken hostage by an armed gang in Haiti have been freed, according to US aid organisation Christian Aid Ministries.
The missionaries were abducted over a month ago, on 16 October, while returning from a trip to visit an orphanage. The bus they were travelling on was seized by members of a Haitian gang in the town of Ganthier, east of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The “400 Mazowo” gang reported to be responsible for the kidnappings later demanded a ransom of $1m for each of hostages, threatening to kill the missionaries if their demands weren’t met.
The abducted group included family members of the Christian Aid Ministries workers, among them six women and five children, as well as six men.
It is still unknown which two members of the group of 17 have been released. According to an update by Christian Aid Ministries: “Only limited information can be provided, but we are able to report that the two hostages who were released are safe, in good spirits, and being cared for.
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“We cannot provide or confirm the names of those released, the reasons for their release, where they are from, or their current location. We ask that those who have more specific information about the release and the individuals involved would safeguard that information.”
The update continued: “We encourage you to continue to pray for the full resolution of this situation. While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the fifteen people who are still being held. Continue to lift up the remaining hostages before the Lord.
‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable’ (Psalm 145:3).”
Before the kidnapping the Christian Aid Ministries workers had been ministering throughout poverty-stricken Haiti. Their work included supporting thousands of needy school children, distributing Bibles and Christian literature, supplying medicines for numerous clinics, teaching Haitian pastors, and providing food for the elderly and vulnerable. In recent months, they were also involved in a rebuilding project for those who lost their homes in the August 2021 earthquake.