The Media Project is a network of mainstream journalists who are Christians pursuing accurate and intellectually honest reporting on all aspects of culture, particularly the role of religion in public life in all corners of the world. It welcomes friends from other faiths to such discussions and training.

Voodoo religion's role in helping Haiti's quake victims

Voodoo religion's role in helping Haiti's quake victims

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From BBC news. By Henri Astier

BBC News, Miami - A month before Haiti's devastating earthquake, prominent musician Theodore "Lolo" Beaubrun and a few friends were summoned by spirits who tried to warn them about the impending cataclysm.

"They told us to pray for Haiti because many people would die," says Mr Beaubrun - the frontman of the group Boukman Eksperyans.

"I thought it was about politics. I didn't know it was going to be an earthquake."

The spirits may have failed to make themselves understood, but according to Mr Beaubrun - whose music and outlook are steeped in voodoo culture - they are standing by the Haitian people in their hour of need.

"We are extremely traumatised," he says.

"We have seen death. But the spirits entered the minds of people to advise and help them heal. They speak to us. It's like therapy."

But Mr Breaubrun's idea that voodoo should play a leading role in helping victims of the country's worst-ever natural disaster is currently little more than a hope.

Haiti's traditional religion has kept a low profile in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The songs and prayers heard amid the rubble and tent cities around Port-au-Prince are overwhelmingly Christian.

The voodoo religion may be practised by many Haitians - the exact number is unknown - and has not been totally absent from the aid effort.

Louis Leslie Marcelin, another singer who also describes himself as a spiritual guide and healer, has used his home in Port-au-Prince as an alternative school and a care centre.

"We work with children and parents," he says. "We work with poor people whose relatives have died."

But such efforts by voodoo leaders have been few and far between...

Continue reading at BBC news.

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