‘We Glorify God for Answered Prayer!’ All Missionary Hostages Finally Freed in Haiti
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The remaining members of a U.S. Christian missionary group abducted in Haiti in October have been released, their group and authorities confirmed late Thursday.
“We glorify God for answered prayer. The remaining twelve hostages are FREE!” said Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries (CAM).
Seventeen hostages, who included 16 Americans and one Canadian, were seized by the notorious street gang 400 Mawozo outside Port-au-Prince, the capital, on October 16.
Since then, five people were released by concerns that remained about the others prompting CAM to often urge for prayers. “Join us in praising God that all seventeen of our loved ones are now safe. Thank you for your fervent prayers throughout the past two months,” CAM added in remarks monitored by Worthy News.
CAM declined to give more details about the names and whereabouts of the missionaries amid apparent security concerns. “We hope to provide more information as we are able.”
The Christians were kidnapped as they returned from a visit to an orphanage some 90 minutes from their base.
Pierre Espérance, director of Haiti’s National Human Rights Defense Network, said in published remarks that the 17 hostages were split up and held in at least four separate locations. That complicated efforts to negotiate for their release.
Officials from the State Department and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation were in Haiti to help secure the release of the hostages, U.S. government representatives confirmed.
“We welcome reports that they are free and getting the care that they need after their ordeal,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy White House press secretary. “The U.S. government has been working tirelessly over the past two months to get them released.”
Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jason Kung added that “consular officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to the Canadian involved.” He declined to provide further information, citing “privacy considerations.
The abduction drew international attention to a surge in kidnappings, including of Christian missionaries and church leaders, in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the demands by the kidnappers had been met.
400 Mawozo, known for its brazen kidnappings and targeting Christian groups, said earlier that it demanded $17 million — $1 million a hostage.
One of its leaders, Wilson Joseph, threatened to “put a bullet” in the head of each hostage if the ransom was not paid. However, at least some were released without money being spent, sources said.
The U.S. and Canadian governments have said that they typically do not pay ransoms.
The release of the hostages was welcoming news in an otherwise difficult year for Haiti marked by tragedies. In July, President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in a brazen attack at his home that remains unsolved, plunging the nation into turmoil.
The earthquake in southern Haiti the following month killed more than 2,200 people. On Monday, a tanker truck carrying gasoline overturned and exploded in the country’s second-largest city, killing at least more than 70 people and injuring scores more.
The earthquake in southern Haiti the following month killed more than 2,200 people. On Monday, a tanker truck carrying gasoline overturned and exploded in the country’s second-largest city, killing at least 73 people and injuring scores more.
CAM suggested the release of missionaries was a miracle between the hardship ahead of Christmas, citing Bible verse Exodus 15:1b: “I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.”
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