Haitian Sevitè, like their African foreparents, do not serve “devils nor demons”. They do not waste their time imagining that there is anything capable of challenging God’s authority in the universe. First and foremost, Sèvitè Ginen have faith in God. Following God, apre Dye, they have faith in their Ancestors- the Lwas.
If some Christians choose to believe in a devil who is currently active in God’s world, that is their problem. They need to stop imagining that others, particularly, Sèvitè Ginen, share their belief. The problem of the devil in some Christian doctrines is a concept that countless philosophers have long ago exposed. Even Saint Augustine recognized that there could not be a good God working in partnership with a devil selecting who goes to heaven or to hell.
In Haiti, many Sèvitè believe in two classes of spirits. Upright spirits who are genetically related Ancestors, and are called Lwa Rasin, and less noble spirits who are from outside one’s lineage, and are called Lwa Achte. Haitian Sèvitè could insult practitioners of other faiths as followers of Lwa Achte. It is easy to insult those outside of one’s faith. Countless crimes have been perpetuated by religious intolerance. Our moral challenge is to learn to respect one another.
In interfaith dialogues, Christian officials should take full possession of the devil and other demons that their faith requires believing in. They need to stop using these labels to vilify other faiths. Legliz la dwe tèt li plis respè.Se pa ka pale nou mal ki lapriyè yo. Jerry and Yvrose Gilles June 2009