Byesville church member among missionaries kidnapped in Haiti – Zanesville Times Recorder

SALEM — At least one member of a Guernsey County Mennonite church is believed to be among the missionaries captured in Haiti. 
The office of Congressman Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, has been in contact with the U.S. Department of State, which is handling the matter.
According to Benjamin Keeler of Johnson’s office, Heritage Mennonite Church in Byesville is the only church in the Congressman’s district involved in the abduction.
The church’s pastor, Jonathan Raber, declined comment at this time. 
Keeler said Johnson’s office has been advised that most of the captives are from the neighboring seventh congressional district, which includes the counties of Coshocton, Holmes, Knox, Ashland, Tuscarawas, Stark, Medina and Huron. Some of the captives are also reportedly with Hart Dunkard Brethren Church in Michigan, part of the Dunkard Brethren denomination. 
The missionaries that have been abducted are affiliated with Christian Aid Ministries, based in Holmes County.
Gang danger everywhere: Haiti native from Wayne County shares family’s own kidnapping story
On Wednesday, 32 Republican lawmakers, including Johnson, signed a letter addressed to President Joe Biden urging him to locate and rescue the 17 missionaries and children abducted in Haiti on Oct. 16.
“Given your administration’s failure to safeguard Americans in Afghanistan, we believe it is more important than ever to demonstrate on the world stage that the United States of America will always protect its citizen,” the letter states.  
The letter continues to explain that of the 17 individuals captured, including five children, 16 are American and one is Canadian.
“In a brazen attack by members of the ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, these missionaries were abducted from their vehicle at gunpoint after visiting an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince,” the letter continues. “This gang has become infamous in Haiti for mass kidnappings, including the abduction of several Catholic priests and nuns earlier this year.”
The members of Congress behind the letter also stated it is their understanding that the FBI deployed agents over the weekend to help locate and rescue the missing missionary group. 
Those U.S. Representatives who signed the letter include:
Twitter: @cmholmesgannett


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