Christian Aid Ministries displays photos of the released hostages at a news conference in Berlin, Ohio, on Dec. 20. Associated Press/Photo by Tom E. Puskar
Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries confirmed Thursday that an anonymous person paid a ransom to the gang that kidnapped 17 missionaries in Haiti in October. The gang, known as the 400 Mawozo, had initially demanded $1 million per person. At a Dec. 20 news conference, ministry officials revealed someone offered to pay the ransom. In public remarks since then, staffers revealed the organization has a no-ransom policy and tried instead to offer food boxes for the captives. Eventually, the ministry agreed to negotiate with the gang leaders through a third party.
What was the ransom deal? The original agreement with the Haitian gang was to release all the captives, but internal conflicts purportedly led the gang to renege and only release three on Dec. 5. Officials at Christian Aid Ministries said they don’t know who made the payment or how much it cost, but they confirmed the donor was not affiliated with their ministry. According to ministry officials and the hostages themselves, the remaining captives escaped 10 days later.
Dig deeper: Listen to Sam Stoltzfus, one of the captive missionaries, share his story on The World and Everything in It podcast.
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Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga.
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