Haitian Religion in Miami
Haiti is a beautiful Caribbean country. It is very diverse. Although the majority of the population identifies with Roman Catholic Christianity, there are many Voodoo influences. For hundreds of years, Haiti has been mostly a Christian country. As much as 80 percent of the locals identify as Roman Catholics. However, there is a significant influence of West African religious practices on the religion as it was brought to the island with the slaves. Haiti consists of a multi-religious community. The government is not involved with any religious organization.
Catholic-Voodoo Syncretism and Roman Catholic Christianity
The religion in Haiti is highly mixed up and modified with traditional voodoo practices that come from West African religious traditions as well as some native beliefs. The prevalence of Catholicism on the island is due to the impact of the French as they were the colonial master of the country. Moreover, Catholicism was the official religion of the state until the year 1986 when it got removed from the constitution. Thus, there is more religious liberty on the island. It has paved the way for more religions to flourish. It is important to note that the Catholic Church has had a tough time dealing with the voodoo practices of the country. By the 1930s, there remained only a few priests, and they only catered to the urban elite. It was only later that the priests launched various campaigns to destroy the voodoo religion. But, many elements from the folk religion ended up getting into the liturgy. Freedom of religion allowed native religions to be practiced.
In 1983, when the Pope visited Haiti, he criticized the government for lack of action against the voodoo religion, which showed his power on the nation. It was after three years from the visit that Jean Claude Duvalier (the leader) got deposed. Haiti has two archdioceses and ten dioceses to ensure church affairs are efficiently administered.
Haitians in Miami
Although as much as 16 percent of the Haitian population is Protestant, the majority of the Haitians that moved to Miami brought a form of religion that is heavily voodoo-based. Many of their practices are similar to the majority back home. Miami has welcomed them with open arms, and they have not faced much discrimination in the country. Instead, many Americans have shown an interest in the voodoo religion. It is exciting and answers many aspects of Christianity, in which Americans have a tough time getting their head around.
The Haitian religion in Miami is predominantly Catholic, with heavy voodoo elements. Some of their practices might be considered a vice in America, but they are true to their religion. Miami is a very diverse city, and it is a haven for Haitians who have moved to the United States with dreams of living a better life.
Impact of Religion
Haitians in Miami are religious people. They do believe that there is a higher power in life and believe in the existence of God. However, there are many West African influences in their form of religion. Certain voodoo ceremonies might seem very different but are unique in their way. The impact of religion in Miami due to the Haitian locals has only raised awareness in the city.