Haiti voodoo leader urges halt to cholera lynchings of priests

By Reuters Staff
December 24, 2010
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(Photo: A voodoo priest walks around a believer in a trance during a ritual at a voodoo festival July 24, 2010/Eduardo Munoz)

The head of Haiti’s voodoo religion has appealed to authorities¬† to halt the bloody lynchings of voodoo priests by people who blame them for causing the Caribbean country’s deadly cholera epidemic. Since the epidemic started in mid-October, at least 45 male and female voodoo priests, known respectively as “houngan” and “manbo,” have been killed. Many of the victims were hacked to death and mutilated by machetes, Max Beauvoir, the “Ati” or supreme leader of Haitian voodoo, told Reuters.

“They are being blamed for using voodoo to contaminate people with cholera,” Beauvoir said on Thursday. The killers accused voodoo priests of spreading cholera by scattering powder or casting “spells” and complained that local police and government officials were not doing enough to halt the lynchings and punish the killers. Voodoo is recognized and protected by the constitution as one of Haiti’s main religions.

“My call is to the authorities so they can assume their responsibilities,” said Beauvoir, who fears more attacks against voodoo devotees. Most of the lynchings occurred in the southwest of Haiti but also in the center and the north.

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(Photo: A Haitian boy looks at a voodoo ceremony from inside a voodoo temple during Day of the Dead celebrations in Belladere November 2, 2009/Eduardo Munoz)

Since emerging in central regions in October, the cholera epidemic has ripped through Haiti’s poor population, still traumatized from a January earthquake. Mainly spread by contaminated water and food, the disease has killed well over 2,500 people and affected all of the nation’s 10 provinces.

Read the full story by Joseph Guyler Delva here.

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2 comments

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This religion deserves the same protections that we expect in our own religions, the persecution of priests is a misguided attempt to destroy this religion. The ignorance of the source of the cholera, and the willingness to motivate people to act on this ignorance is no different than the witch hunts that were motivated by ignorance in mid-evil Europe.
I do not support the voo-doo religion in any way, but it is up to its followers who choose to believe in it, to form and worship in their own ceremonial system. This is their chioce and it should be protected the same as freedom of religion should be protected everywhere.

Posted by Wandy2u | Report as abusive

The Voodoo religion has been a redoubtable force in the Haitians cultural landmark and a fearsome obstacle that prevent total control by Western powers who have been trying to uproot voodoo in in Haiti for over 500 years. The current killing is instigated by outsiders.
Humanity and Voodoo emerged from Africa. Voodoo is the progenitor of all religions. Africa and Africans in the diaspora should get rid of the second hand religions such as Christianity, Muslim, Hinduism and others. Blacks should go back to the Alma matter-Voodoo .The other races will continue to disrespect Blacks as long Blacks continues to embrace those foreign religions.
Get rid of the Arya Sathya Vedam, the Bible, and the Koran. They were tailored for the interest and glorification of those people. That is why African names and tribes are omitted on them. That is why those people are vilifying the Voodoo and other aspects of the African culture and saying Africans have no history and culture. Respect has to be mutual not one way street.
Voodoo has 50 million follower worldwide that include: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic,Ghana,Guyana,Haiti,Jamaica,Nige ria,Puerto-Rico,Surinam,Togo,Trinidad, USA, Venezuela and Virgin Islands.
http://www.kenrahn.com/Marsh/Bay_of_Pigs  /congo.ht
http://www.trussel.com/prehist/news255.h tm
http://www.realmagick.com/5014/pagan-roo ts-of-the-bible/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0064737/bio http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/carribea nweb/factfile/Unique-facts-Caribbean12.h tm
http://meta-religion.com/World_Religions  /Voodoo/voodoo.htm

Posted by PierreLherisson | Report as abusive