A senior Biden administration official says the U.S. government has seen evidence proving some of the American and Canadian missionaries kidnapped last month in Haiti are still alive.
Reuters reports the official, who declined to be named, did not elaborate about what kind of proof had been seen or which members of the group were thought to still be alive a little more than three weeks after they were abducted at gunpoint.
The group included five children aged 3, 6, 14, 15, with the youngest being just 8 months old.
As CBN News reported, the 17 missionaries were kidnapped on Oct. 16 outside Port-au-Prince while on their way home from visiting an orphanage. The missionaries are associated with the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), which describes itself as a "channel for Amish, Mennonite, and other conservative Anabaptist groups and individuals to minister to physical and spiritual needs around the world."
In a statement posted on their website on Monday, the ministry asked for continued prayers.
"It is now the 24th day of this crisis, and our workers and loved ones are still being held hostage in Haiti. We, along with government authorities, continue to work hard to bring them home safely. This is our heartfelt desire, but we want to surrender to God's plan and timing," the statement read.
"The families of the hostages continue to face long days of waiting for news about their loved ones. The hostages no doubt face long days as well, wondering when they might be released. Your prayers have been a lifeline of hope and encouragement for the families, for us at CAM, and no doubt for the hostages during the past several weeks. Keep praying!" the statement concluded.
The Haitian gang who claimed responsibility for their abduction has demanded $17 million in ransom for their safe release.
As CBN's Faithwire reported, police believe the 400 Mawozo gang is behind the abductions. The group, which started out as a collective of petty thieves, has become one of Haiti's most feared and diabolical gangs.
A man identified as Wilson Joseph — believed to be the leader of the 400 Mawozo — was seen in a video last month circulating on social media during which he said the gang will kill the missionaries if the payment isn't made.
"I swear by thunder that if I don't get what I'm asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans," he proclaimed.
The missionaries did not appear in the video.
According to the Miami Herald, President Joe Biden has been receiving daily briefings on the hostage situation, but information released to the public about law enforcement efforts so far has been sparse.
"I personally give an update on this issue every single day to the president, who is taking a deep interest in making sure we get every single one of those people home safely," U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
As CBN News reported on Oct. 27, an elderly pastor who was kidnapped in a separate incident by armed men dressed as Haitian National Police officers was finally released after ransom payments of $300,000 and an additional $250,000 were given to the kidnappers, according to the Miami Herald.
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