SATAN ALIVE AND WELL IN HAITI
Haiti’s supreme Voodoo leader and hundreds of his followers intend to wage “war” upon Christian Evangelicals after they attacked a Voodoo ceremony in which chickens were beheaded to honor the Haitians killed in last month’s massive earthquake.
The attack on the Voodoo ritual within Port-au-Prince’s sprawling Cite Soleil slum came amid rising religious tensions, as Protestant Evangelicals and other denominations vie for converts in the wake of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000.
Some of the converts say they abandoned Voodoo to embrace fundamental Christianity because, they believe, God caused the earthquake to give them a spiritual warning.
“It will be war — open war,” Max Beauvoir, supreme head of Haitian voodoo, announced to the press at his home and temple outside the capital.
“It’s unfortunate that at this moment where everybody’s suffering that they have to go into war. But if that is what they need, I think that is what they’ll get,” Beauvoir said.
The quake also left more than a million homeless and left much of the capital and surrounding areas in ruins in this Caribbean nation of more than nine million.
Police said a Christian pastor urged followers to attack the Cite Soleil ceremony, resulting in a crowd of people throwing rocks at the voodoo followers.
Rosemond Aristide, a police inspector in Cite Soleil, said he had since spoken with the pastor, who agreed to allow voodoo ceremonies to take place there.
But he would not explain why no arrests were made nor provide further details.
Beauvoir accuses the Christian denominations of using post-quake aid supplies such as food and medicine to try to “buy souls.”
“I would like to see each one of them tied up in ropes and thrown in the sea, and I hope the best of them will be able to catch a plane and run away and leave in peace,” the voodoo priest said.
Asked whether he would encourage voodoo followers to respond with the same kind of violence, Beauvoir said he would.
“They have not been aggressors,” he said of his followers. “I think they are aggressed (attacked), and they will have to answer with the same type of aggression. I don’t mean for (Evangelicals) to die. I am not out to kill them.”
More than 50% of Haiti’s population practiced voodoo in some form, though many are thought to also follow other religious beliefs at the same time.
Voodoo evolved out of beliefs slaves from West Africa brought with them to Haiti. It is now deeply rooted in Haitian culture.
A voodoo priest named Boukman has been credited with setting off the country’s slave rebellion in the late 18th century and the creation of the world’s first black republic.