The Haitian gang that kidnapped 17 missionaries from the United States and Canada wants $ 17 million in ransom for their safe release.
The FBI, working with Haitian authorities, is said to be in contact with the gang that is holding the group hostage as search and rescue efforts enter their fourth day.
New information is also being disseminated about the missionary group which includes five children aged 3, 6, 14, 15, the youngest being only 8 months old.
“This is something that we have treated with the highest priority since Saturday,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
State Department officials on the ground in Haiti are working to secure the safe release of hostages who were abducted at gunpoint in Port-au-Prince as they returned home from ‘an orphanage.
The group is there on behalf of Ohio Christian Aid Ministries, which describes itself as a “channel for Amish, Mennonites, and other conservative Anabaptist groups and individuals to meet physical and spiritual needs around the world.”
Since the assassination of the Haitian president earlier this year, criminal gangs now rule the streets and kidnappings are on the rise.
CBN News spoke with Emmanuela Delsoin, director of Operation Blessing Haiti, about what it is like in Haiti right now.
“We feel like we don’t have anyone leading and running the country,” Delsoin told CBN News. “I think this is the worst time for me in Haiti.
Delsoin says the gangs left American citizens alone, but that’s no longer the case.
“Before, it was targeted, but now the entire population is targeted,” she continued. “Everyone is a target and no one is safe.”
With gangs growing in number and now controlling around half of the capital Port-au-Prince, aid groups like CBN’s Operation Blessing are struggling to get relief to those in need.
“Everything has already been paid for so we are just waiting to see when there will be some kind of calm to be able to make the distributions,” explained Delsoin.
In addition to asking for prayers for the safe release of their aid workers, Christian Aid Ministries also urges believers to pray that the hearts of the kidnappers will be transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.
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