The foursome, including the church’s pastor, pianist, and two technicians, were held as hostages until Easter Sunday, and were released after a ransom was paid.
Dr. Gregory M. Figaro, whose father founded the church in Diquini, was present at the kidnapping and said a man with a gun gained entry to the church after knocking on the door.
“If this can happen, then anything is possible in the country because there is no respect for any institution, whether it’s a church or school,” Figaro told the Miami Herald after the kidnapping. “They are even grabbing people from inside their home.”
Haiti has also been affected by other crises, including natural disasters and a lack of health care infrastructure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
A 2010 earthquake killed 200,000 people and left one million people homeless; one decade later, tens of thousands were still living in tent camps.
In October 2016, more than 1.4 million people were in need of emergency aid after Hurricane Matthew made landfall.
Violent protests have also occurred in Haiti since July 2018, with protesters calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse.