Message of forgiveness after gang threatens to kill 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

(Photo: CAM)

The families of 17 kidnapped missionaries in Haiti have said they are "giving forgiveness" to the notorious gang holding their loved ones for ransom.

The message was shared through Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), the US non-profit that the group was in Haiti with.

They were kidnapped on October 16 while travelling to the airport after visiting an orphanage near capital Port-au-Prince.

The group includes five children, the youngest of which is just eight months old. Sixteen are from the US, while one in the group is from Canada.

The gang behind the kidnapping, 400 Mowozo, has demanded $1m per head and its leader Wilson Joseph has threatened to "put a bullet in the heads" of the missionaries if the ransom is not met.

CAM said there had been "many tears and thousands—if not millions—of prayers" following the group's abduction.

It has urged people to continue praying. 

"Please don't stop praying. Don't grow weary. We sense a great need of your prayers. Your prayers are a vital part of resolving this situation. We don't know how God will choose to bring resolution, but we desire that His will be done," it said. 

Despite the threat to their loved ones, the fathers of two hostages have extended a message of forgiveness towards the kidnappers.

"We are interested in the salvation of these men and we love them," said one.

Another father said, "As a family we are giving forgiveness to these men. We are not holding anything against them."