Baptist Missionaries Evacuate Haiti Following Threats

The American Embassy and the Haitian government are taking seriously threats made by local hoodlums to kidnap and harm foreigners in Haiti. On Sunday, Oct. 10, a specific threat was made against a Baptist mission in Haiti, prompting the U.S. embassy to urge the Baptist missionaries to leave immediately. They reportedly left after church services that day.

According to local sources, there has recently been a renewed wave of violence in Haiti's capital carried out by hoodlums loyal to exiled president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s political party. The violence resumed last week while U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police turned their attention to the catastrophic flooding in Gonaives and surrounding areas that left some 3,000 people dead more than 300,000 homeless.

Last week the hoodlums -- following the example of Iraqi insurgents -- kidnapped three Haitian police officers. They were later found beheaded. Another nine police officers were killed when they searched a slum that is home to many of the bandits. CNN reported that a Brazilian peacekeeper was also injured during the offensive when he was shot in the foot. Those leading the protesters and inciting the violence have called their actions, "Operation Baghdad."

Christian leaders in Haiti say the underlying cause of the political, economic and environmental crisis in Haiti is "spiritual warfare." Mission leaders are urging believers to pray for the safety of foreign missionaries and all Haitian Christians.