Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the authors' and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members. On August 5, 2021, we archived old blog posts. You can find the archive by clicking here.
UNANIMA International Responds to Abduction of Sisters in Haiti
UNANIMA International Executive Director Jean Quinn coordinated communication about the abduction - and release - of six sisters of Sainte-Anne Congregation last month. The following statement was made on January 23, 2024:
New York, NY - Over the weekend, UNANIMA International received distressing communication that six religious of the Sisters of Sainte-Anne congregation, all of them members of UNANIMA International, were kidnapped on January 19th, 2024 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Sisters, along with two of their colleagues, were taken from their vehicle by armed gunmen in broad daylight. The incident unfolded in a busy area in the city center as they were en route to the local university they operate. Their current whereabouts remain unknown.
These dedicated women are at the forefront of providing education and healthcare services in Haiti, contributing significantly to upholding the nation's infrastructure amidst ongoing challenges. Their unwavering commitment to serving the community has made them instrumental in navigating the complexities of the current state of affairs in Haiti.
The abduction marks one of the largest incidents targeting the religious community in Haiti. In solidarity, Pope Francis and the Haitian Conference of Religious have denounced this act, urging for the safe release of the kidnapped Sisters. We express our deep concern not only for the safety and wellbeing of these Sisters, but for all religious congregations operating in Haiti.
Now the international community must come together to facilitate their return to their families and communities. UNANIMA International calls for assistance and support from individuals,
organizations, and governments to join our efforts in securing the release of these kidnapped Sisters. Your involvement in this matter is crucial, and we appreciate any support that can be extended. We must unite to condemn such acts of violences and support initiatives that strive to create a world where the rights of all individuals are respected and protected.”
UPDATE: The day following this press release, January 24, all six sisters were released. There have been no updates on their condition.
There are about 300 gangs in Haiti, making up 80% of the population. The worst of these gangs were the kidnappers of the Sisters of Sainte-Anne. It’s a miracle they were released alive. The underlying problem for the violence in Haiti seems to be poverty. Many of Haiti’s firearms are coming from the United States.
The Congregation of Sisters of St Agnes is a member of UNANIMA International, a non-governmental organization committed to advocating for the rights and dignity of women, children, and girls around the world. UI members, including CSA and the kidnapped Sisters of Sainte-Anne, work tirelessly to address social justice issues and advocate for the most vulnerable in their local and global communities.
For more information, visit www.unanimainternational.org