Voodooists' Confederation Ask for Social Inclusion

Since the legalization of Voodoo as an authentic faith in 2003, they have grown in political stature. Recently the National Confederation of Haitian Voodoo Practitioners (NCHVP) met with Prime Minister Lamothe to discuss inclusion in the social institutions of the country.

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Michel Martelly in a Voodoo Ceremony

They argued against any policies proposed by conventional religious and women's groups keeping NCHVP from enjoying the rights of other civil society groups. Voodoo High Priestess, Envonie Auguste, stated Haiti's Founding Fathers' ideals included freedom and unity of Haitians, without prejudice of skin color differences, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. She invited the civil society sector to begin a dialogue to right the wrongs inflicted on Voodoo believers, so they may acquire social inclusion in civil institutions.

At the meeting Confederation members asked for the backing of the Martelly-Lamothe government to develop projects important to Haiti's ecological sustainability. At the top of the list is reforestation of land. In civil matters, NCHVP called on Lamothe to permit Voodoo practitioners the right to provide their own education, conduct legal weddings, practice Voodoo funeral rites, and christen their children as Lakou. Auguste also asserted the Voodoo community feels an obligation to raise the living standards of all Haitian citizens, particularly the most needy.

Lamothe was receptive and promised to give out 2,000 emergency vouchers and launch ten community restaurants for NCHVP. He is following up on the unprecedented meeting by creating an oversight committee to continue talks with NCHVP to accede to their demands over time.

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