Black Spirituality Religion : Many Haitians' religious faith unshaken by earthquake

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Alexandra, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- The steeple clock at Port-au-Prince's St. Pierre Catholic Church is stopped at 4:53, the hour at which a devastating earthquake struck Haiti nearly one week ago.

    The church gates were closed Sunday. The doors shuttered. But it seems Tuesday's quake has only strengthened the religious fervor many Haitians carry in their souls.

    "A lot of people who never prayed or believed -- now they believe," said Cristina Bailey, a 24-year-old clerk.

    In parks and backyards, anywhere a group gathers, the prayers of the Haitians can be heard. Last week, the call-and-response chanting and clapping that accompany those prayers pierced the darkness of night and the pre-dawn hours -- sometimes as early as 4 a.m. The singing and praying was particularly intense in Champs de Mars plaza, where hundreds of people have taken refuge. But the scene was repeated throughout the city, with preachers on megaphones exhorting the faithful, who responded with lyrics like "O Lord, keep me close to you" and "Forgive me, Jesus."

    Many preachers are telling followers not to lose faith, that God remains with them regardless of what's happened.

    Most Haitians don't feel abandoned, Bailey said.

    "People don't blame Jesus for all these things," she said. "They have faith. They believe that Jesus saved them and are thankful for that."

    Perhaps few personified that deep belief better than 11-year-old Anaika Saint Louis, who was pulled from the rubble Thursday night and later died. Her leg had been crushed, and doctors thought they might have to amputate her feet. She said she didn't care.

    "Thank you, God, because he saved my life," she said. "If I lose my feet, I always had my life."

    Jean Mackenle Verpre also suffered a crushing leg injury and was freed after 48 hours underground.

    Asked what kept him going, he answered without hesitation: He believes in Jesus Christ and put his life in God's hands.

    Colonized by France, Haiti is a strongly Catholic country. Christian motifs are everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Many vehicles bear signs like the one painted on the windshield of a truck on Rue Delmar: "Merci Jesus," it said. A woman passing by on Avenue Christophe chanted softly: "Accept Jesus."

    "In Haiti, you have Protestants and Catholics, and you have your percentage of each," said J.B. Diederich, a native-born Haitian who now lives in Miami, Florida, but returned to the Caribbean for several days after the earthquake. "But everybody is 100 percent voodoo."

    Voodoo is widely acknowledged but practiced only behind closed doors, with practitioners often placing candles and icons on the floor of a home and dancing to music and drums.

    Followers believe the world is under the power of loas -- spirits and deities who act as intermediaries between humans and God. In voodoo, disasters like Tuesday's quake are not the result of natural forces, but displeasure by a loa.

    "It's in every apartment. The voodoo is our culture," 25-year-old Alex Gassan said. "It's like the folklore."

    Gassan proudly calls himself a Catholic, pulling out a crucifix necklace from under his shirt to show a reporter.

    Many observers have a simple explanation for what makes Haitians so devout.

    "Because in all poor countries, you have to believe in something," said Agnes Pierre-Louis, the Haitian-born manager of her family-owned hotel. "If they don't have that, they don't have anything."

    Added Diederich: "They leave everything in the hands of God. When you have so little, what else can you turn to?"

    Source:http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/18/haiti.earthquake.faith/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That is why I questioned statement s folks made here about the orishas causing this to "cleanse" and move people who are stagnant.

    I meant no disrespect to any ones faith but after reading this post I wonder how the Haitians there would have felt about such statements.
    Hopefully as aid progresses we will get their responses regarding this matter, and we should all be open and respectful to what they as victims have to say about this
     
  3. DARKSIDE MAGICK

    DARKSIDE MAGICK Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    DIDN'T I SAY PAPA LEGBA WHO IS A LWA DID THE LEGBA STOMP ON HAITI!!!

    THE ARTICLE SAID THE LWA WAS DISPLEASED!!!!!
     
  4. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    and the people there of the Voudun faith who are suffereing this said, what?

    when we hear what THEY SAY ,

    this will not be solved,

    until then we can conjecture until the 11th planet comes
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    As a Vodouisant and a person with a long distant genetic coonection to Ayiti and her people, I am deeply saddened by the catastrophe that felled upon this land. I love Haiti as a place filled with resilient and resourceful people. People, eventhough faced with the numerous hardships life has to offer, who have good humor and great hospitality. I was accepted some years ago into the house of Haitian woman - a very respected and knowledgeable mambo; she is a woman of tremendous love, patience and understanding - very well a representation of Mama Hayiti herself. There was a recent thread about Dantor and the Haiti Revolution. Dantor is Mama Hayiti - a manless lady filled with tragedy and hardship, but a loving yet stern and forceful mother. She encourages her children to value hard work and teaches us life is an experience to live and not a luxury to exploit.

    Many people have posted thoughts about what happened. I will say as a person "born into Vodou" I am no less or more strong in my commitment to Vodou than I was pre-earthquake. What happened is life. Life is neither fair or unfair. Life is a phenomenon to experience not to be explained. Gran Bwa, during my couche, teaches this. Vodou is what it is and I am Vodou. It is the heart that pumps blood in my veins.
     
  6. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Not a devotee of the same religion...

    But do remember that this far by our (various) faiths...

    :fyi:
     
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