A group of 17 missionaries including children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organization with direct knowledge of the incident.
The missionaries were on their way home from building an orphanage, according to a message from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.
“This is a special prayer alert,” the one-minute message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”
The message says the mission’s field director is working with the US Embassy, and that the field director’s family and one other unidentified man stayed at the ministry’s base while everyone else visited the orphanage.
No other details were immediately available.
A US government spokesperson said they were aware of the reports on the kidnapping.
“The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said, declining further comment.
Meanwhile, a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States is in touch with Haitian authorities to try to resolve the case.
According to its member profile with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Christian Aid Ministries works mostly with Amish and Mennonite volunteers in relief efforts. A post on the Christian Aid Ministries site last week described its sponsor-a-child school program in Haiti, which it says supports 8,600 children.
Haiti is once again struggling with a spike in gang-related kidnappings that had diminished after President Jovenel Moïse was fatally shot at his private residence on July 7, and following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest Haiti …
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