The Human Truth Foundation

Haiti (Republic of Haiti)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#africa #benin #ghana #haiti #monotheism #nigeria #togo

Haiti
Republic of Haiti
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index162nd best
CapitalPort-au-Prince
Land Area 27 560km21
LocationNorth America, The Americas, The Caribbean
GroupingsSmall Islands
Population11.1m2
Life Expectancy63.12yrs (2017)3
GNI$1 657 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesHT, HTI, 3325
Internet Domain.ht6
CurrencyGourde (HTG)7
Telephone+5098

1. Overview

#france #spain

The native Taino - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world, declaring its independence in 1804. Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has experienced political instability for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations. Continued instability and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti inaugurated a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. This was followed by contested elections in 2010 that resulted in the election of Haiti's current President, Michel MARTELLY. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 25 km (15 mi) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Estimates are that over 300,000 people were killed and some 1.5 million left homeless. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverHaiti is still struggling with the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. But this is a proud country, born of revolution, and its people are determined to rebuild for a better future. Forget for a moment the rubble that still clogs parts of the capital. In actual fact, Haiti was once at the forefront of Caribbean tourism. In the 1950s, Port-au-Prince was rivaled only by Havana as a destination for the rich and famous; its jazz clubs and casinos a favored getaway for the Hollywood elite.

With a modicum of stability, Haiti could yet become the Caribbean´s alternative travel destination par excellence: it has palm-fringed beaches to rival any of its neighbors. But lazing on the sand isn´t really the point of Haiti (although you can do that, too). The richness of the country lies in its history and culture, closer to its African roots than any other Caribbean nation and ever present in its vibrant art and music scenes.

Haiti isn´t the easiest country to travel in. You frequently need to keep an ear out for the news, and it can be more expensive than you´d expect. However, once you´re there, travel is not only possible, but also incredibly rewarding. It´s an addictive country to visit.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. The Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew11

Here is the summary from Human Rights Watch's report on the year 2017:

Political instability in 2017 hindered the Haitian government´s ability to meet the basic needs of its people, resolve long-standing human rights problems, or address continuing humanitarian crises. The United Nations peacekeeping mission operating in Haiti for the past 13 years ended in October. A smaller mission replaced it.

More than 175,000 individuals remained displaced in the aftermath of October 2016´s Hurricane Matthew, and many more faced food insecurity due to widespread damage to crops and livestock. As of September 2017, authorities had failed to assist many of the nearly 38,000 individuals still living in displacement camps since the 2010 earthquake in resettling or returning to their places of origin. The country´s most vulnerable communities continue to face environmental risks, such as widespread deforestation, pollution from industry, and limited access to safe water and sanitation. Almost one-third of people live with food insecurity due to the ongoing drought affecting much of the country.

Since its introduction by UN peacekeepers in 2010, cholera has claimed more than 9,500 lives and infected more than 800,000 people. Cholera cases surged in October 2016 in communities most impacted by Hurricane Matthew. There were more than 41,000 suspected cases and 440 deaths in 2016. The number of cases has since declined significantly due to intensified cholera control efforts, including an ambitious campaign in which more than 800,000 people were vaccinated. Only 11,916 suspected cases of cholera and 118 deaths had been reported from January to October 2017.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)12

3. Haiti National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)13
Pos.Lower is better
Rank13
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
161Lesotho160
162Senegal162
163Uganda163
164Haiti163
165Sudan165
166Togo166
167Benin167
168Yemen168
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)14
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $14
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
169S. Sudan$1 882
170Afghanistan$1 871
171Uganda$1 670
172Haiti$1 657
173Rwanda$1 617
174Zimbabwe$1 588
175Solomon Islands$1 561
176Gambia$1 541
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
15,16
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank15,16
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
159Gambia111.4
160Sierra Leone111.6
161Nigeria111.6
162Haiti112.9
163Myanmar (Burma)113.2
164Mozambique113.4
165Liberia115.9
166Kiribati116.2
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

4. Haiti's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Haiti's population is predicted to rise to 12.53 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 3.19. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
79Bolivia11.4m
80Cuba11.3m
81Burundi11.2m
82Haiti11.1m
83S. Sudan11.0m
84Czechia10.7m
85Dominican Rep.10.6m
86Greece10.5m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)14
Pos.Higher is better
Years14
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
153Sudan63.73
154Comoros63.57
155Mauritania63.24
156Haiti63.12
157Congo, (Brazzaville)62.89
158Papua New Guinea62.77
159Djibouti62.30
160Kenya62.16
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)17
Pos.2.0 is best17
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
124Namibia3.08
125Zimbabwe3.15
126Tajikistan3.19
127Haiti3.19
128Gabon3.20
129Swaziland3.21
130Bolivia3.25
131Pakistan3.25
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)18
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10018
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
64Kiribati09.5
65Guatemala09.5
66Saudi Arabia09.5
67Haiti09.6
68Vanuatu09.9
69Cape Verde10.0
70Philippines10.3
71Cambodia10.4
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)19
Pos.
%19
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
176Papua New Guinea0.4%
177India0.4%
178Afghanistan0.4%
179Haiti0.4%
180Brazil0.4%
181Eritrea0.3%
182Somalia0.3%
183Lesotho0.3%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)20
Pos.
%20
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
67Hong Kong10.2%
68Dominican Rep.10.1%
69Zimbabwe9.9%
70Haiti9.9%
71San Marino9.9%
72Burkina Faso9.7%
73Slovakia9.6%
74Morocco9.3%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

5. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #haiti #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Haiti is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. Haiti does better than average for its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice21, supporting press freedom22, commentary in Human Rights Watch reports23 (but low for The Americas), supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms24 and in LGBT equality25 (but bad for The Americas). Haiti does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in terms of its nominal commitment to Human Rights26 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties27. And finally, it falls into the worst 20 in opposing gender inequality28 (the worst in The Americas). There is a widespread problem with violence against women and poor legal protections for the vulnerable. Prisons are inhumanely overcrowded: detainees have less than one metre of space and are confined for 23 hours a day: the main cause is that 71% of them have been imprisoned before trials have been held12.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

6. Haiti's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #Haiti #health #life_expectancy #longevity #mental_health #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #suicide #vaccines

Health (2020)29,30
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank29,30
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
152Dominican Rep.109.8
153Benin109.9
154Madagascar110.3
155Haiti110.8
156Yemen111.4
157Congo, DR111.5
158Somalia111.7
159Niger111.9
160Sierra Leone112.1
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives29. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea29.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe29, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia29.

Health:

Haiti has some poor policies and cultural issues which cause some public health problems. Haiti performs the best in its suicide rate31. It does better than average in its smoking rate32 and in its alcohol consumption rate33. Haiti does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in terms of its adolescent birth rate28 (still low for The Americas), its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance34, its fertility rate17 (one of the highest in The Americas) and in its average life expectancy14 (the worst in The Americas). And finally, it falls into the worst 20 in its immunizations take-up35 (the lowest in The Americas). The number of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the last 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)14
Pos.Higher is better
Years14
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
153Sudan63.73
154Comoros63.57
155Mauritania63.24
156Haiti63.12
157Congo, (Brazzaville)62.89
158Papua New Guinea62.77
159Djibouti62.30
160Kenya62.16
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)33
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita33
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
87India5.7
88Cape Verde5.7
89Liberia5.8
90Haiti5.8
91Colombia5.8
92Nauru6.0
93Cuba6.1
94Kyrgyzstan6.2
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)17
Pos.2.0 is best17
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
124Namibia3.08
125Zimbabwe3.15
126Tajikistan3.19
127Haiti3.19
128Gabon3.20
129Swaziland3.21
130Bolivia3.25
131Pakistan3.25
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)32
Pos.Higher is worse32
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
29Ghana 121
28Somalia 117
27Peru 116
26Haiti 114
25Eritrea 114
24India 111
23Sao Tome & Principe 111
22Niger 105
World Avg 819
q=182.
Suicide Rate (2013)31
Pos.
Per 100k31
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
4Jordan0.2
5Maldives0.7
6Azerbaijan1.3
7S. Africa1.8
8Bahamas2.5
9Peru2.9
10Kuwait3.6
11Armenia3.9
12Dominican Rep.4.6
World Avg20.93
q=91.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
112Romania112
113Peru113
114Kenya114
115Haiti115
116Malawi116
117Swaziland117
118Iran118
119Yemen119
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)36
Pos.Lower is better
%36
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
92Austria54.3
93Armenia54.4
94Belize54.8
95Haiti54.9
96St Vincent & Grenadines55.0
97Solomon Islands55.0
98Denmark55.4
99Jamaica55.5
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)28
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100028
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
90Tajikistan38.1
91Vietnam38.6
92Pakistan38.7
93Haiti39.3
94Syria39.4
95Kyrgyzstan39.6
96Georgia39.7
97Barbados40.7
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)35
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %35
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
181Samoa68.1
182Yemen67.4
183Papua New Guinea66.3
184Haiti65.7
185Vanuatu65.5
186Guinea63.3
187Syria62.4
188Ukraine55.2
World Avg88.3
q=194.

7. Haiti's Modernity and Learning

#education #intelligence #modernity #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)37
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank37
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
171Guinea117.5
172Chad118.6
173Papua New Guinea119.2
174Haiti119.5
175Niger124.0
176Timor-Leste (E. Timor)127.8
177Sierra Leone128.3
178Djibouti129.2
179Madagascar141.0
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Secondary Education (2018)38
Pos.Higher is better38
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
134Nepal35.9%
135Kenya35.2%
136Honduras33.5%
137Haiti33.2%
138S. Sudan33.2%
139Swaziland32.6%
140Morocco32.2%
141Uganda32.1%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)39
Pos.Higher is better
Years39
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
171Congo, DR9.7
172Ivory Coast9.6
173Liberia9.6
174Haiti9.5
175Gambia9.5
176Equatorial Guinea9.2
177Guinea9.0
178Senegal9.0
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
129Azerbaijan129
130Bangladesh130
131Mongolia131
132Haiti132
133Botswana133
134Suriname134
135Uruguay135
136Honduras136
World Avg82.0
q=163.
IQ (2006)40
Pos.Higher is better40
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
126Angola68
127Guinea67
128Liberia67
129Haiti67
130Gambia66
131Zimbabwe66
132Senegal66
133Sierra Leone64
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)41
Pos.Higher is better41
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
169Kiribati13%
170Rwanda12%
171Mali12%
172Haiti12%
173Papua New Guinea12%
174Djibouti12%
175Cambodia11%
176Gabon10%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.

8. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
42
Pos.Lower is better42
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
50Syria43.67
51Luxembourg43.75
52Panama45
53Haiti45
54Malawi45.25
55Israel45.25
56Taiwan46
57Belgium47.25
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)43
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score43
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
162Angola19.4
163Guinea-Bissau19.2
164Syria18.8
165Haiti18.8
166Yemen18.4
167Venezuela18.4
168Uzbekistan18.4
169Turkmenistan18.2
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)44
Pos.Higher is better44
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
145Afghanistan3.6
146Botswana3.6
147Malawi3.6
148Haiti3.6
149Liberia3.5
150Syria3.5
151Rwanda3.4
152Yemen3.4
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
89Cambodia89
90Peru90
91Jordan91
92Haiti92
93Tunisia93
94Papua New Guinea94
95Belarus95
96Mongolia96
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
50Greece50
51Niger51
52Sri Lanka52
53Haiti53
54Rwanda54
55Swaziland55
56Luxembourg56
57Mali57
World Avg82.0
q=163.

9. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)45
Pos.Lower is better45
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
103Congo, (Brazzaville)2.15
104Kazakhstan2.15
105Saudi Arabia2.18
106Haiti2.18
107Cambodia2.21
108Belarus2.21
109Uzbekistan2.22
110El Salvador2.22
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
141Saudi Arabia141
142St Vincent & Grenadines142
143Belize143
144Haiti144
145Libya145
146Croatia146
147UAE147
148Central African Rep.148
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)34
Pos.Lower is better
Rank34
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
137Nigeria137
138Cambodia138
139Mali139
140Haiti140
141Mongolia141
142Syria142
143Mauritania143
144Rwanda144
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)46
Pos.Lower is better
Score46
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
68Argentina1.68
69Madagascar1.96
70Finland2.03
71Haiti2.18
72Kosovo2.26
73Japan2.29
74Netherlands2.35
75Ecuador2.46
World Avg2.78
q=150.

10. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)47
Pos.Higher is better
%47
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
148Liberia-15.2
149Belize-15.5
150Equatorial Guinea-15.7
151Haiti-16.4
152Tanzania-17.6
153Ethiopia-17.8
154Malawi-19.2
155Botswana-21.0
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)48
Pos.Higher is better48
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
171Central African Rep.36.4
172Niger35.7
173Lesotho33.8
174Haiti33.7
175Madagascar33.7
176Nepal31.4
177India30.6
178Congo, DR30.4
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
160Bahrain1996 Nov 28
161Turkmenistan1996 Dec 17
162Laos1996 Dec 19
163Haiti1996 Dec 24
164Croatia1997 Jan 05
165Belgium1997 Feb 20
166Dominican Rep.1997 Feb 23
167Turkey1997 May 15
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)49
Pos.Higher is better
%49
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
138Denmark14.9%
139Libya14.6%
140Iceland13.1%
141Uzbekistan11.3%
142Tajikistan11.1%
143Haiti10.0%
144Albania9.4%
145Turkmenistan8.6%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

11. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #poverty #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)50
Pos.Higher is worse50
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
173Ivory Coast33.30
172Lesotho33.10
171Guinea-Bissau32.30
170Haiti32.20
169Burkina Faso32.00
168Angola32.00
167Guinea31.30
166Niger30.90
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)51
Pos.Lower is better
%51
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
...
102Argentina40.6
103Kenya40.8
104Malaysia41.0
105Haiti41.1
106USA41.5
107Ivory Coast41.5
108Djibouti41.6
109Papua New Guinea41.9
World Avg38.1
q=152.
Multidimensional Poverty (2018)52
Pos.Lower is better
Severity52
1Armenia.001
2Ukraine.001
3Serbia.001
...
65Comoros.181
66Bangladesh.198
67Pakistan.198
68Haiti.200
69Timor-Leste (E. Timor).210
70Ivory Coast.236
71Yemen.241
72Cameroon.243
World Avg.154
q=101.

12. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion #voodoo

Disbelief In God (2007)53
Pos.Higher is better
%53
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
105Zambia0
106Tanzania0
107Malaysia0
108Haiti0
109Iraq0
110Guinea0
111Ghana0
112Jordan0
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below54:

Christian86.9%
Muslim0.1%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion2.2%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated10.6%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%. Note: Despite what they put on official forms, roughly half of the population practices Voodoo.55.

An introduction to Vodun, or Voodoo:

A traditional religion from Western Africa with an ethical focus on combating greed and promoting honour. It is based on the worship of spirits that are loyal to a monotheistic56 deistic (non-interventionist) creator god. It is more correctly known as Vodun, although other titles include Vodoun, Voudou, and Sevi Lwa. "The name is traceable to an African word for 'spirit'. Vodun's roots go back to the West African Yoruba people who lived in 18th and 19th century Dahomey. That country occupied parts of today's Togo, Benin and Nigeria"57. When West Africans were forcibly taken to Haiti and other islands in the West Indies as slaves, their beliefs spread with them56,57, and also to South America and the Caribbean region in general58. Voodoo was suppressed and its followers persecuted56 by Christian powermongers, and it was forced underground, with many believers merely pretending to be Christian, and practicing Voodoo in secret56,59,60. As a result of this, Voodoo priests were well-placed to orchestrate and inspire slave revolts. It is now acknowledged that Voodoo merged African beliefs with re-interpreted Christian saints and symbols58,56, but also that Christianity abused and mis-represented Voodoo, causing long term damage to its reputation. There are up to 60 million Voodoo practitioners worldwide, with about 16 million in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria56.

"An introduction to Vodun, or Voodoo" by Vexen Crabtree (2016)

Vodun is still practiced by the majority of Haiti even though the majority also call themselves Christian. "It was given official status as a national religion in 2003 by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, then Haitian president"56. Haitian Voodoo is has some features that distinguishing it from African Voodoo. The success of the hope-inspiring slave revolts was directly related to the secretive and suppressed nature of the Vodun religion within the slave culture. The underground religion naturally expanded to include underground abolitionist activism and played an inspirational and functional role, directly facilitating underground societies and powerful leaders, something which no other anti-slave movement did. This series of revolts led to Toussaint L'Ouverture and his successes in the region, which inspired and fuelled abolitionist movements worldwide.

Some historians say that voodoo's bad image in the world is because Haitian slaves used it as a form of protest; it gave them a secret place where they could foment revolt against their masters.

The Economist (2006)61

Links: