Voodoo Essay

909 words - 4 pages

“Voodoo A set of beliefs and rites, African in origin but closely interwoven with practices borrowed from the Roman Catholic Church, constituting the living religion of both the rural and urban masses of the Republic of Haiti” (Comhaire-Sylvain, 1). Those who practice Voodoo worship a single supreme God and through this worship perform rituals welcoming and directing spirits. Although voodoo is not considered a prevalent religion and is practiced in a distinctive manner it is a misinterpreted religious practice that many claim to be about black magic, death, and evil spirits but it has assisted the Haitian community in connecting with traditions and one another despite their location.
There is no exact point in time where Voodoo was originated but many believe that it goes back thousands of years in Africa. The slaves were forced into Christianity during colonial rule and their religious practices were prohibited. Voodoo rejuvenated in the late seventeenth century when the slaves united on a sugarcane plantation to begin a Voodoo Ceremony known as Bois Caiman. The ceremony ended with a widespread fire on the plantation that stemmed into a revolution, lasting until the year of 1804. According to Rachel Beauvoir Dominique in The Social Value of Voodoo throughout History: Slavery, Migrations and Solidarity Haitian's demanded change in a prayer called 'Djo' which was later turned into an action that helped pay the colonists back for lost assets due to the debt agreement between Haitian President Boyer and Charles X of France made in 1825. After the revolution Haitians slowly started building itself back up and constantly fought to earn religious freedom. Encyclopedia of African American Society says, "Roman Catholicism was Haiti's only official religion for almost two centuries, and the Roman Catholic Church in Haiti long tried to discourage the practice of voodoo. Since 1987, freedom of religion has enjoyed constitutional protection in Haiti." Once freedom of religion was available in Haiti Voodoo began to popularize across the world. Although disfavored in some areas, Voodoo has become a more prevalent religious practice.
Due to the universalization of Voodoo practices many people were under the impression that Voodoo was a type of malignant, dangerous, black magic and the blame mostly falls on the media. The social media portrays Voodoo as a type of mysterious magic that summons evil spirits, makes unnecessary sacrifices, practices witchcraft, pokes needles into “voodoo dolls”, and are devoted worshipers of Satan. In Capturing the Spirit of Voodoo; Adherents Say the Misunderstood Religion is; A Culture Connection to Their African Past a voodooist in Philadelphia says, "We kill chickens, we kill goats, sheep, bulls, turkeys, ducks, you name it. It's really true,...

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