No Discrimination on Voodoo through Article 297, Government Reassures Vodouisants

There has been concern over article 297 which had been pending since 1935 of Haiti's constitution recently signed by President Michael Martelly. The article, which had not been promulgated yet, was acting against all superstitious practices and Voodoo practice as well. The National Confederation of Haitian Vodoo head, Mrs. Euvonie Auguste, expressed her fears and said that currently, inclusion of article 297 of the constitution removes the legal protection that that voodoo was enjoying for a long time. According to her, Voodoo religion and its followers were bound to be discriminated by law and by the society at large prompting them to seek other means of protection.

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Reacting to the allegations, Joel Turenne who is currently serving as the Director of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the law still fully protects Voodoo and its followers. As he put it across, "the constitutional amendment is and cannot be prejudicial in any way, nor to the functioning of voodoo, or the rights of its adherents". He also pointed out that the presidential decree which was made in April 2004 cleared Voodoo practice from superstitious practice allegations.

Many people were concerned whether the amended constitution that was signed in 2011 by the Haitian president enacted article 297 which was acting against Voodoo practice or not. However, it seemed to be unrealistic for the government to enact such a law while there were evident interests in promoting the practice, as it has been a promising tourist attraction scene. From the Director of Legal affairs sentiments, the issue is well under control and Vodouisants should not feel troubled at all.

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Read more: michel martelly, constitution, Superstition, Discrimination, Euvonie Auguste, Joel Turenne, Voodoo

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