Haitian Bishops Warn About Voodoo and Fundamentalists

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, JULY 4, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Alix Verrier of Les Cayes said the Catholic Church in Haiti is exposed to the dangers of voodoo and to Protestant groups coming from the United States.



The voodoo cult is still deeply rooted in the people and even has legal status equal to other religions, Bishop Verrier told the missionary agency Fides.

Warning against the dangers of U.S.-based Protestant fundamentalist groups, the bishop said that they "come with substantial funds and open schools, and the Catholic Church lacks the means to compete with these schools."

For his part, Bishop Hubert Constant of Fort Liberte, president of the Haitian episcopal conference, said that people "who say that sects are harmless are blind."

Voodoo is a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship, and is practiced chiefly in Haiti. The cult, which originated in West Africa, mixes religious fancies with Christian and indigenous elements.

The cults, in which animals like snakes, goats, and chickens are sacrificed, are led by "sorcerers" or "priests." Followers of this cult hope for the cure of illness, personal success and satisfaction by the right to revenge.