Topics: Haitian Vodou, Haiti, Louisiana Voodoo Pages: 5 (1872 words) Published: June 13, 2005
The Voodoo religion is one of the most, if not the most misconceived religion of our time. Often when Voodoo is mentioned, it is related to evil, black magic, devious sorcery, cannibalism, and harm. Although the Voodoo religion appears to the outsider as an illusion or falsehood, it has been an instrumental political force because it has helped the Haitians resist domination and form an identity of their own. Since the end of the 17th century, Haitian Voodoo has overcome every challenge it has been faced with and has endured. The religion is based on a polytheistic belief system and represents a significannot portion of Haiti's 8.3 million people. The engaging religion plays an important role in both the family and the community. Voodoo ceremonies allow participants to seek spiritual guidance, or help with their problems, making the religion a source of comfort. The main activity in Voodoo is the boundary between visible and invisible realities. Practitioners believe that there are no accidents, everything affects something else, and the universe is all one. In Voodoo, reality and illusion are fused to make things happen. Voodoo cannot be explained.

Voodoo is a very promising religion. It offers comfort and support to practitioners while Haiti remains unstable. There is a strong sense of tradition, but it is a very unique sense of tradition. Voodoo has no formal dogma, no specific organization, and no written text. There is no right or wrong way to practice Voodoo. Because there was no formal history of Voodoo practitioners believed it was easier to form a bond with the supernatural world. Each individual has his/her own relationship with his or her specified god, and each relationship is unique. The religion is in the hands of the practitioner. People can choose how deep they wish to get involved in this religion. A practitioner of Voodoo decides for him or herself how to establish their personal bond with the supernatural. In comparison religions like Catholicism, have guidelines to follow and consequences for all your actions. Voodoo allowed Haiti to form an identity of its own. Voodoo has been instrumental in the survival of Haiti because of its individualistic way of thinking. It is important to keep in mind that Haiti has been, and continues to be one of the most impoverished nations is the world. The fact that Haitian people's religion has remained unchanged for centuries proves that it is beneficial and promising. Voodoo remains adaptable as it has been throughout history, it is constantly changing to adapt to new situations that Haiti is faced with everyday. After Haiti gained its independence it was ruled by one dictator after another. From 1860 until the present day, Haitian politics were never stable. During this period Haiti had thirty-five presidents, only five of them completed their terms. Through all of Haiti's political failure Voodoo has helped to resist domination, fight fragmentation of identity, with which the Haitians were constantly threatened, and avoid catholic conversion. Many of today's religions share strict beliefs that are found only within their own religion, they restrict the possibility to believe anything other that what the religion tells its followers to believe, in Voodoo you are not a follower. Voodoo is a religion influenced by many other religions; it allows its followers to feel free. When Voodoo worshipers left Africa and reached the far away island of Haiti, the Voodoo religion changed. Catholicism of the slave owners, and various alternative religions from native islanders, influenced Voodoo. Voodoo easily incorporated these other religions because of its welcoming nature. Voodoo was appealing, especially to the slaves and poor members of a community. Because it was so inviting, it became a way for people with troubles and turmoil to unite. The slaves united through Voodoo to throw off white rule. It was the first successful slave rebellion...
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