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Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Understanding the Haiti Earthquake
January 22, 2010
For the deeply religious citizens of Haiti, last week’s earthquake was a rupture both physical and spiritual.  This week, we explore how the three largest religious groups in Haiti—Catholics, Pentecostals, and practitioners of Vodou (better known as Voodoo)—are using their faith to interpret what happened.
Pictured: The Haitian Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince. It was a two-story building before the earthquake.   

Elizabeth McAlister, scholar of Afro-Caribbean religion at Wesleyan University

Vodou's View of the Earthquake

Begins at 13 min

Erol Josue, a Vodou priest and musician, lost more than two dozen friends and extended family in the earthquake. He sees a message in Haiti’s collapsed government buildings.  “Mother nature showed us how powerful she is, how sad she is,” he says. “We have to rethink our society.”  Josue also reflects on loss through music, singing three powerful Vodou songs in the studio.
Pictured: Erol Josue at a Vodou ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.  Here they summon the Vodou warrior spirit, Ogou.  

Photo by Stephanie Keith

Erol Josue, Vodou priest and singer-songwriter

Commentary: Justice for Haiti

Begins at 34 min 14 sec

Our own Maureen Fiedler reflects on the special role, and responsibility, of disaster aid from faith groups.  And she explains why help for Haiti - in the spirit of Martin Luther King - must include a restructuring of Haitian society and international trade policies based on social justice.
Maureen Fiedler, Host

Malaria No More

Begins at 39 min 45 sec
Malaria kills more than 1 million people every year; most of them are under the age of five.  Yet the disease, which begins with a single mosquito bite, is 100 percent preventable.  Avi Smolen and Randa Kuziez introduce us to the Faith Acts Fellowship, a new program that brings together young people of faith to fight Malaria with bed nets.
Avi Smolen and Randa Kuziez, members of the DC office of the Faith Acts Fellowship