(CBS DETROIT)– Members of the Haitian Community living here in Metro Detroit say they hope and pray that the American Missionaries are safe and able to return home soon, but also hoping that this shines a light on an issue that’s been taking place in Haiti for several years where Haitians live in fear and terror every day.

“Lack of Security, we’re afraid, we’re afraid to go back there,” said Pastor Kenol Cadet.

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Pastor Cadet is a native of Haiti living in metro Detroit who says, he and others that came to America and found success, want more than anything to go back and help build up their native Country. But says the gang violence and kidnapping is out of control, and now that a group of 17 American missionaries including 5 from Michigan have been kidnapped, it shows the gangs are getting even more brazen.

He says his church is praying for their safe return, however this terrifying activity has been happening to the locals for years, and he’s hoping this shines a light on that.

“Maybe America will step up or Canada or somebody else, out of Haiti, will step up and stop those gangs,” said Pastor Cadet.

For years Pastor Cadet has been an advocate for Haiti, fighting against corruption and injustice.

Another advocate for the Country is Detroit’s Mitch Albom who just left Haiti after visiting his orphanage there. He agrees the Country is in dire need of protection.

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“And average Haitians not rich Haitians, people who are just street vendors, students going to school and man or woman just going to work, they pluck them off the street and they may say we don’t have any money, they say well call your family and tell them sell the refrigerator and give us the money they get for that,” said Mitch Albom with the Have Faith Haiti organization.

Albom says most of the kidnappings are occurring in certain gang related areas. He has 3 teachers from Michigan in Haiti now he says they are working diligently to keep them protected. As for the 17 kidnapped missionaries, pastor Cadet says, they’re in his prayers.

“I know as a church we’ll be praying for them, that nothing will happen to them, hoping and praying,” Pastor Cadet said


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April Morton