Local gangs take over Methodist Churches in Haiti

10 January 2024

Mission Coordinator for the Methodist Haiti District*, David Draeger, gives us an update on the situation in Haiti and how it affects daily life. 

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Most days are like the one that precedes and the one that follows. The unending grief from continuous gang warfare, with murder, rape, extortion, and robbery tends to lull us into complacent oblivion. It is sad to say that I do not get as much accomplished as I would wish because hope for the future dwindles. It seems easier to just go with the flow and do nothing rather than to try and change the unchangeable.  

When I stop for a moment and look around, I see evidence that the Church, specifically Eglise Méthodiste d’ Haiti [The Methodist Church in Haiti] is moving forward. There are some church buildings, like St. Martin and Croix d’ Boquets, that have been taken over by the local gangs so that the people are unable to worship in their own sanctuary. Other congregations are unable to travel through gang-infested areas to their normal places of worship. At the same time, I see congregations like Frères and Jérémie that are relatively safe, and their worship services are full every Sunday. Throughout the whole country there is the same pattern; some churches are hampered by the gangs and others remain as a light in a darkened world.  

But then I am awakened by the Hope proclaimed by Jesus Christ and my faith in the future is renewed. Throughout the year there are births and deaths, weddings and funerals, there are still confirmation classes and Bible studies where people are coming to Christ and as a result are professing their membership in the Methodist Church of Haiti." 


For peace in Haiti 

For an end to gang violence 

For healing for victims 

For compassionate, just and democratic governance 

For the Methodist District Annual Conference at the end of January 

For international support for Haiti to create Haitian solutions to Haitian issues 

 If you use the Methodist Prayer Handbook, you can pray for Haiti on day 11 (page 34) of the book. 

 Read the United Nations on Haiti webpages  

Read humanitarian crisis independent analysis provider ACAPS:   

Please keep supporting the World Mission Fund that serves partners with solidarity grants. These grants are given to a partner who is facing particularly difficult circumstances or an emergency situation. Although the grants may seem quite small in the global scale of things, they are a rapid response that express solidarity in partnership and can often open the door for our partners to receive other funding from around the world. 

 In 2023, your donations to the World Mission Fund enabled the Methodist Church in Haiti to support hundreds of people in their communities affected by the prolonged political and social crisis. With these funds, the church set up mobile clinics to tackle the outbreak of cholera and other health problems, as well as distribute dried food packages to support community health promotion. 

Read more about the World Mission Fund 

Give to the World Mission Fund  

 * The Methodist Church in Haiti is a District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, one of 107 global partners of the Methodist Church in Britain.