Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Church Kidnappings

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Helo After Latest Church Kidnappings
    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Helo After Latest Church Kidnappings

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Church Kidnappings

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Church Kidnappings

    With abductions and instability at an all-time high in the Caribbean island, Haitian Catholics are pleading for protection after another church service was targeted in a kidnapping attack.

    According to the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, several persons were abducted on April 13 while attending mass at the Saint Charbel Oratory in Port-au-Prince, which was presided over by Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidora. As a result of the assault, two men needed medical attention.

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    “This act of kidnapping is one too many, undermining both the integrity of a sacred place of worship and the freedom of movement of people in the country,” Mesidor said in a statement shared by Vatican News and Haiti Libre.

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Kidnappings

    “The Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince once again expresses its indignation at such acts, which spare no one and respect no place; in this sense, it demands that the State authorities finally guarantee the security of lives and property, and that they prosecute and condemn those who operate the kidnapping industry and profit from it.”

    “God wants his children to be free and not to be oppressed or treated as slaves. God is the helper of His people. May He be gracious to us, bless us, and save us,” he prayed.

    ALSO, READ The 12 Remaining Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti Have Been Released

    Since 2021, kidnappings have surged by 173%, reflecting the escalating instability that followed the killing of President Jovenel Mose in July of that year. As reported by the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in early April 2023, there were 389 kidnappings in Haiti during the first three months of that year.

    The group surmises that part of the blame could be on alliances formed between gangs seeking to expand territory and a growing “kidnapping industry.”

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Kidnappings

    In October 2021, 17 missionaries with Christian Aid Ministries were kidnapped and held by the 400 Mawozo gang. All were released or escaped within two months of the abduction.

    Pastor Jean Pierre Ferrer Michel, together with Isabelle Devendegis and Norman Weiner, was kidnapped from in front of the Jesus Center Church on Delmas 29 weeks before the American missionaries were taken. Michel and Weiner were reportedly released weeks after the female congregant because a ransom was paid.

    In February, Father Antoine Macaire Christian Noah of the Claretian Missionaries’ Independent Delegation for the Antilles was reportedly kidnapped 20 miles north of Port-au-Prince while traveling to his missionary community in Kazal, according to Catholic News Agency.

    Father Jean-Yves Médidor was kidnapped on March 11 while leaving his home. After 10 days of captivity, he escaped, according to Aid to the Church in Need.

    Italian Sister Luisa Dell’Orto, 64, a nun from the Little Sisters of the Gospel, was killed during a June 2022 robbery. Pope Francis hailed her as a martyr.

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Kidnappings

    “We witnessed an unprecedented level of violence between gangs, the murder of President Jovenal Moïse, another earthquake — the second in a decade — that killed 2,500 people, a health system that is on the verge of collapse and dramatic levels of food insecurity,” Sister Marjorie Boursiquot told Aid to the Church in Need.

    “Everyone, somehow, is a victim of this situation. There have been cases of kidnappings in the Church,” Boursiquot added, citing the case of Dell’Orto.

    ALSO, READ Christian Missionaries Preached And Made Altar Call At A Mosque In Iran

    “Here was a sister who really gave all of herself during 20 years of service to the poor children in one of the slums of the capital. Her death was a shock to us all.”

    The rise of kidnappings comes as millions suffer from malnutrition and hunger.

    Save the Children reports that “nearly half the population, including 1.9 million children,” are classified as “acutely food insecure.”

    Catholic Archdiocese In Haiti Calls For Help After Latest Kidnappings

    Because to the ongoing violence, the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) charity hospital in Cité Soleil has been temporarily closed.

    ALSO, READ 3 More Christian Aid Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti Released Remaining 12

    “We are looking at a war scene just meters away from our hospital,” Vincent Harris, MSF medical advisor, said in a March statement. “While the hospital has not been targeted, we are a collateral victim of the fighting, since the hospital is right on the frontline of the fighting. … We realize that closing the hospital will have a serious impact on the people of Cité Soleil, but our teams cannot work until security conditions are guaranteed.”

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