Religious Freedom in Haiti

Those who would seek to protect the freedom of all Haitians to choose and practice their religion have accomplished an applaudable feat in putting on a religious freedom festival that has hopes of continuing in perpetuity.


In February 2014 the Seventh-day Adventist Church put on the religious freedom festival that was organized by their Haitian Union Mission and received sponsorship from the International Religious Liberty Association. The turnout for the first iteration numbered into the 3,000s and many advocates went away from the festival calling for a national day of religious freedom in Haiti.

The country that has suffered tremendously from man-made and natural disasters (various hurricanes and the 2010 behemoth of an earthquake) has fostered its restoration through the faith of its people. According to IRLA Secretary-General Jon Graz, this freedom is one Haitians cherish and would seek to protect.

Held in Port-au-Prince, the festival was a part of the first Congress of Religious Freedom in Haiti. Present at two days of workshops and lectures were government leaders, hundreds of lawyers, religious representatives and human rights activists. The gathering played up the amity that exists between various religious groups in the country and spells hope for the future of the undertaking.

Coming out of the gathering was a pledge for the Haitian chapter of the International Religious Liberty Association to be organized. The group also promised to negotiate the day for religious freedom with the government and also recommended the call from congress for the separation of church and state.

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