A Catholic priest who was abducted by a Haitian gang in April is asking for prayers for 17 missionaries who are still being held prisoner by the gang.
Earlier this year, Catholic priest Jean-Nicaisse Milien was abducted with nine other priests and nuns while they traveled to install a church member as leader of a new parish in Haiti.
Outside of Port-au-Prince, more than a dozen heavily armed men from the 400 Mawozo gang stopped their car.
"I was kidnapped! I was kidnapped," Milien told CBN News in a recent interview.
"They demanded money," Milien said. "$1 million."
The gang later abducted 17 missionaries in October as they drove to an orphanage. The missionaries are still being held captive, and according to CTV News, five of the 17 are children. The gang is demanding $1 million per person for their release.
Reflecting on his time in captivity, Milien told CBN News that the gang moved constantly. He also recalled being blindfolded for much of the time he was held captive, sleeping on the floor and having little to eat.
"My faith helped me a lot," Milien told the outlet.
He also shared that the group constantly prayed together and read from the Bible they kept hidden from the guards.
"We said a moment of prayer in the morning," he said. "A moment of prayer in the midday and a moment of prayer in the night."
After four days, the gang released one from Milien's group. Two weeks later, they released three more.
"That last week, it was very difficult," he said, noting that they received no food and barely any water.
Milien and the remaining five captives were released after 20 days when his parish paid an undisclosed ransom amount to the gang.
This week, Milien encouraged congregants at a church in Port-au-Prince to pray for the safe release of the other missionaries still in the gang's custody.
The gang has reportedly threatened to kill the missionaries if the ransom is not paid.
"I'm asking every friend of mine to pray for the American people being held and the Canadian one," he said.
"We have to do something. The government has to do something because we cannot remain in this situation," he said.
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.