MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Gunmen abducted a Haitian pastor and three other people during a ceremony that was streamed live on Facebook, media reported on Friday, and the images were widely shared on social media in a country ravaged by increasing violence.
In the video, two members of the choir can be seen singing a hymn before they suddenly drop their microphones and cower to the side of the altar. As the piano music continues to play, a man wielding a rifle enters the screen and they are seen being carried away.
The incident, broadcast on Facebook and YouTube late Thursday, took place at the Kreyol Gospel Seventh-day Adventist Ministry Church in Diquini, outside the capital Port-au-Prince, according to the Miami Herald newspaper.
Gregory M. Figaro, whose father, Greger Figaro, is the founder of the ministry, told the Miami Herald that eight to 10 gunmen arrived in two vehicles and kidnapped the pastor and three other people, including a pianist.
“If this can happen, then anything is possible in the country because there is no respect for any institution, be it a church or a school,” Figaro said, according to the Miami Herald.
Haiti has been rocked by increased violence in recent years, especially ransom kidnapping incidents that have paralyzed the Haitian economy and society.
Written by Drazen Jorgic; Edited by William Mallard