Nov 28, 2021

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After 16 American Christian missionaries and their families, including young children, were kidnapped in Haiti, efforts have been launched by Christian groups throughout the world to secure their return.

But on Wednesday, calls for their rescue came from an unexpected place – Jewish orthodox rabbis. Rabbi Pesach Wolicki and Rabbi Kenneth Brander of the Jewish-Christian relations & Bible study center CJCUC penned a letter calling for prayer for their safe return.

In the letter, the organization stated that they “stand in solidarity with the seventeen Christian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.”

“While we are of different faith communities, we recognize that the Biblical values of peace and the brotherhood of all humanity are shared equally by Christians and Jews.”

“It is therefore incumbent upon all who profess faith in the God of Israel, the God of the Bible, to join together in praying to the Almighty to bring these Christian captives home to safety” the letter stated. “We call on the Jewish community to view any attack on Christians, targeted for their faith, as an attack on all people of faith.”

Bringing the tragedy into Biblical context, the letter went on to read: “Just as our father Abraham went into battle to redeem Lot from captivity, we call on the Jewish community to take up the cause of the Christians who have been taken hostage.”

The rabbis then called on the Jewish people to recite Psalms 12, 41,142, and 143 in an effort to secure their return.

I cry aloud to Hashem; I appeal to Hashem loudly for mercy. (Psalm 142:2)

The victims of the kidnapping included 16 American Christian missionaries and their families, including young children, who were staff members for the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries group. They were kidnapped by an infamous gang, known as “400 Mawozoin in Port-au-Prince earlier this week.

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki explained that among other things, his organization’s mission is to express gratitude and to “reach a hand across the aisle” to build relationships.

“We live in an age in which millions of Christians around the world feel connected to the Jewish people and Israel, and to the Biblical story that is unfolding in our times; the long-awaited mass return of the Jewish people to Israel after a lengthy exile,” Rabbi Wolicki explained to Israel365 News. He noted that for several years, the Christian community has been expressing this connection through pilgrimages to the Holy Land and through lending political and financial support for Israel. “And yet, from the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel and its rabbis, there has never really been an institutional response.”