February 22, 2010

Haitians finding comfort in Voodoo

A Haitian aphorism holds that the nation is 80 (or 70 or 90) percent Catholic -- and 100 percent Voodoo.

Henri Astier of the BBC has produced a feature on the role of Haiti's traditional religion, an amalgam of West African and Roman Catholic beliefs, in the aftermath of disaster.

A month before Haiti's devastating earthquake, prominent musician Theodore "Lolo" Beaubrun and a few friends were summoned by spirits who tried to warn them about the impending cataclysm.

"They told us to pray for Haiti because many people would die," says Mr Beaubrun - the frontman of the group Boukman Eksperyans.

"I thought it was about politics. I didn't know it was going to be an earthquake."

The spirits may have failed to make themselves understood, but according to Mr Beaubrun -- whose music and outlook are steeped in voodoo culture - they are standing by the Haitian people in their hour of need.

"We are extremely traumatised," he says.

"We have seen death. But the spirits entered the minds of people to advise and help them heal. They speak to us. It's like therapy."

Read the story at

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 1:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Culture, International, Voodoo
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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.

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