Post-earthquake Haiti: Time to Regulate Missionary Activity
Pat Robertson’s statement about Haiti being a victim of a contract with the Devil is not an isolated statement but it is one aspect of the delusion that drives U.S. missionary groups to Haiti. Every high profile American Church has a presence in the country where they preach that African faith, Vodou, is the polar opposite of their faith. Such racism caused havoc on African people between the 15 and 19th century and its legacy continues to taint our world today.It is because of the harm already experienced by the people of Haiti from missionary activity that this industry must be regulated.
The substitution of one set of faith for another is not the road to development in Haiti whether it is Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim, Taoism or Evangelism. The road to development is paved by increasing the scientific knowhow of the Haitian people. Faith is an equal opportunity distributor of wealth and poverty. People and countries of the world of all faith are rich and poor.
Following the earthquake, the evangelist missionaries saw an opportunity to wound the spirit of the Haitian people and professed that it was African based beliefs in Haiti that led to the recent earthquake. The evil evangelist intent in this statement was clear, yet the Haitian government allows such people as Pat Robertson to build schools in Haiti and to teach their corrosive philosophy. We were fortunate to have scientist explain that it is a system of faults traversing the island that caused the catastrophic earthquake of January 12. It takes many years of study to understand this system of faults. It takes only perfect ignorance to preach another cause.
Missionaries disrespect Haitian faith, Haitian laws, and everything Haitian without remorse. Witness the taking of Haitian children from the country by one self-righteous evangelist Baptist group.These religious groups are made of people who offer some good and some bad. Anchored by the contributions of their congregations, they have the money to build schools and hospitals. Regulation is needed so that we can extract the good and leave the bad. They can build schools, but there must be oversight of their curriculum so that the dignity of the Haitian people is respected and the needed science is taught. They can build hospitals but their doors must be open to all regardless of race and faith.
And finally, it must be recognized that it is not their faith that allows them to build things but rather their wealth. Secular groups from wealthy countries are able to provide the same assistance to Haiti without the proselytizing insults. It is time for missionaries in Haiti to respect the Haitian people and to recognize that the Vodou tradition is the moral equivalent of any other religious tradition.
The Haitian government needs to regulate the missionaries
Missionaries in Haiti operate freely in the country with no oversight of their actions by the Haitian government. Because they are connected to vast amounts of resources and powerful U.S. Churches, their actions are seldom questioned. Many missionary groups bring quite a lot of aid to Haiti. They offer the Haitian people food, water, "education", and medical care - all seemingly free of charge. But the reality is that there is a price to pay.
Many of the poor in Haiti have had to give up their past and their future in order to secure a piece of bread today. They have to abandon the Vodou faith of their forefathers which many missionaries defame as devil worship. And sometimes, they have to abandon their children to these missionaries, who with their endless resources, appear capable of providing the children with a better life. Almost half of all children schooled in Haiti are schooled by missionaries who often teach the children to reject Haitian faith, culture, and history.
This is how 33 Haitian children, many with living parents, ended up in the hands of 10 missionaries who promised to take them away from earthquake-ravaged Haiti to a better life in the Dominican Republic. For now, the Haitian government has put a stop to it. Let's hope the government's actions can last.