A Haitian American pastor who was kidnapped by armed men dressed as police earlier this month has been released. Seventeen American and Canadian missionaries, however, continue to be held hostage by the notorious 400 Mawozo gang.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, 79-year-old pastor Jean Pierre Ferrer Michel and two congregants were kidnapped by armed men in front of his church, Jesus Center in Delmas 29, on October 3.
While one of the church members, a female, was released not long after she was taken, Michel and a male church member remained captive.
On Tuesday, Michel’s daughter posted a video to Facebook in Creole announcing her father’s release from the 400 Mawozo gang.
According to the Miami Herald, the pastor and male congregant were released after a ransom of $300,000 was paid in full.
Délex Etienne, a Haitian communications consultant, noted that the exchange included an additional $250,000 in payment, CBN News reports.
“250,000 USD was paid on Monday evening for the release of Pastor Jean-Pierre Ferrer Michel and Norman Wiwner,” he tweeted. “An amount that is in addition to the 300,000 USD already delivered previously by their relatives.”
Meanwhile, 17 missionaries from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, including five children, remain missing after the 400 Mawazoo gang abducted them on October 16. The gang’s leader, Wilson Joseph, is requesting a ransom of $1 million per missionary, otherwise, he says, he will kill them.
As reported by the Miami Herald, President Joe Biden has received daily briefings on the situation and is involved in an effort to rescue the hostages.
“I personally give an update on this issue every single day to the president, who is taking a deep interest in making sure we get every single one of those people home safely,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.
In an update on Wednesday, Christian Aid Ministries explained that the abduction case is “of great concern to the U.S., Haitian, and Canadian governments, and they are working for the safe release of the hostages.”
“Join us in praying for the various government officials and agents who are working on this case. May God grant them wisdom as they make decisions,” the ministry concluded.