BERLIN, Ohio — Leaders of Christian Aid Ministries in Holmes County continue to hope, pray and fast as they approach two weeks since 17 of its missionaries were abducted in Haiti. 

"We continue to pray that God would protect the hostages and give them grace to respond with Christ-like love in the face of evil," said CAM in a statement Thursday.

Officials have said 16 Americans and 1 Canadian were abducted by a Haitian gang while doing missions work at an orphanage near Port-au-Prince.

The gang has demanded a $1 million ransom for each prisoner. 

A Haitian man who identified himself as the gang's leader said a week ago in a video posted to social media that he would kill "these Americans" if he doesn't get what he needs.

Those abducted include five men, seven women and five children. One of the children is 2 years old, police have said.

The organization, whose membership includes Amish, Mennonite and Anabaptist denominations, said the situation remains "critical" and of "great concern to the U.S., Haitian and Canadian governments." 

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday, during a White House press conference, said President Biden is focused on the abduction's involvement with children. 

"The children aspect of this is something the President is quite focused on, to make sure they're taken care of and they get home OK." 

U.S. and Canadian officials, including the FBI, have said they are working with Haitian authorities to secure the group's safe release.  

Meanwhile, CAM continues to host days of prayer and fasting. A group from Michigan, where some of the abducted are from, held a vigil Sunday to pray for those kidnapped. 

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