American missionaries charged with kidnapping held by authorities on 10-day visit to Haiti

A group of American missionaries who were charged with kidnapping after capturing a group of Haitian immigrants were released by authorities on Wednesday, almost 10 days after they had been arrested. The missionaries — two Americans and a Canadian — had been on a mission to save lives when they were accused of kidnapping children, but then kidnapping them back to Haiti.

According to a spokesperson for the organization, Elizabeth Voigt of Adventist Missions North Carolina, all six missionaries were released on Wednesday and that they had been “good and respectful” while in custody. According to reports, those individuals now plan to travel back to North Carolina on Friday.

At the time of their arrest on Nov. 21, the group — which included an expatriate couple, their 17-year-old daughter, and seven “sweeping” missionaries from Haiti — had traveled back to Haiti to help local missionaries who are unable to work because of health complications with syphilis and tuberculosis. The alleged kidnapping victims were eight elderly Haitians who had been cleaning homes in the United States.

“We believe in the power of prayer, and are asking people across the world to pray for the welfare of all our missionaries,” Voigt said in a statement, according to the Chronicle. “Please continue to pray for the safety of all those involved in these criminal charges, that it is soon resolved, and that people in Haiti can return to helping their communities.”

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