Kidnapped pastor freed in Haiti as gang holds 17 missionaries hostage
Jean Pierre Ferrer Michel, a 79-year-old American pastor who was kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang two weeks before 17 mostly American missionaries were abducted by the group earlier this month, has been freed after $550,000 was reportedly paid for his release.
The pastor, who is a founding member of Jesus Center in Delmas, Haiti, was kidnapped from the church by heavily armed individuals dressed in different uniforms of the National Police of Haiti at about 8 a.m. on the 3rd of October, Haiti Libre reported. Two other church members, Isabelle Devendegis and Norman Weiner, were also taken.
While the gang released the female congregant, Michel and Weiner were held hostage even though they reportedly paid a ransom. The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that relatives of Michel and the two congregants initially paid $300,000 to secure their release. Délex Etienne, a communications consultant in Haiti, said in a statement on Twitter that an additional $250,000 was paid on Monday for Michel and Weiner’s release.
Michel’s family did not immediately respond to a request for an interview when contacted by The Christian Post on Wednesday, but his daughter thanked supporters on Facebook who helped bring awareness to his abduction after the kidnapping of the missionaries appeared to get all the media attention.