American Missionaries Visiting Orphanage Kidnapped By Notorious Gang
A gang known for prior abductions is allegedly guilty of the abduction of 17 American missionaries in Haiti on Saturday. The Christian Aid Ministries missionaries were reportedly kidnapped while returning from the construction site of an orphanage in greater Port-au-Prince, Hati’s capital.
“This is a special prayer alert,” the ministry’s message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”
The U.S. Embassy is working with the field director of the mission, whose family was at the ministry’s base when the abduction took place. Among the abductees were five men, seven women, and five children, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. According to The State Department, 16 of the victims were U.S. citizens.
The 400 Mawozo gang, whose name roughly translates to 400 “inexperienced men,” was responsible for the kidnapping, Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne said. The gang controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area, which includes Ganthier, where the abduction took place.
The gang was also responsible for the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns in the country earlier in the year. Haiti has experienced an increase in gang-related kidnappings since the assassination of its president in July.
“Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers, and the families, friends, and churches of those affected,” the ministry said in its statement. “Pray for those who are seeking God’s direction and making decisions regarding this matter.”