Haiti Religion

Haiti Religion

A majority of the residents are Catholics, although many of them also practice voodoo, a domestic faith practice officially recognized in 2003. The percentage of Protestants in the population is growing.

Religious freedom prevails. The Catholic Church has been divorced from the state since 1987, but still receives state grants for church buildings and schools, among other things. It is closely linked to the ruling elite, which has contributed to increased mistrust in recent years.

Instead, Protestant communities have grown, often founded by North American missionaries. The proportion of Protestants is believed to be close to one third of the population. The largest is the Baptist church and Pentecostal movement. Many members engage in extensive social activities and some have become involved in politics. Unlike the Catholics, the Protestants firmly distance themselves from the practice of voodoo. There are also a small number of Muslims, but despite their freedom of religion, a Muslim community has been denied official recognition.

Voodoo (Vodou in Haitian Creole) originates in West African cults brought by the slaves, but has also been influenced by the indigenous Taino culture (see Ancient History). In order to exercise their forbidden faith, the slaves also incorporated Catholic saints into their rites. At the center of the rituals are spirits, loa, who are to be humbled to help the people and who are in contact with the Almighty God, bon dye. There is a reward for all stages of life. The movement has no organized hierarchy or church. The practice of witchcraft and magic is regarded as voodoo interpretations. Attacks have occurred against voodoo practitioners.

Haiti Population Pyramid 2020

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Haiti, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.



Court orders review of election results

December 20

In a victory for the opposition parties, the national electoral court orders that parts of the votes in the presidential election be recalculated. Fanmi Lavala’s supporters have continued to demonstrate against what they call a “whale coup”. It is now unclear when the final result can be presented.

UN apology for the cholera epidemic

1 December

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon apologizes for the first time to the Haitians for the UN’s role in the cholera epidemic. However, he does not mention how the infection came to Haiti, but only apologizes for the UN not doing enough to deal with the outbreak.


New elections trigger new protests

20th of November

After a year, the presidential election will be rescheduled, while a second round of elections will be held for the National Assembly (and another ten senators will be elected in the first round). The day after the election, two parties are declared victors: PHTK, which also claims that presidential candidate Jovenel Moïse received more than 50 percent of the vote, and Fanmi Lavalas, whose candidate is Maryse Narcisse. One week after the election, the Election Commission states that according to preliminary results, Moïse received almost 56 percent of the votes and thus took home the victory already in the first round. The candidates who came in second, third and fourth place – Jude Celestin, Jean-Charles Moïse and Maryse Narcisse – all claim that cheating has occurred and refuse to accept the election result. Violence erupts in some of Port-au-Prince’s poorest neighborhoods where Fanmi Lavalas has strong support.

Vaccination campaign against cholera

November 8

Health authorities and international aid organizations are launching a campaign to vaccinate 820,000 people in one week. The number of cholera falls has increased since Hurricane Matthew.


Severe hurricane causes the election to be postponed

October 5

Hurricane Matthew causes great havoc and causes the authorities to postpone the election that was to be held on October 9. Around 550 people are killed and over 175,000 are forced to leave their homes when the storm sweeps through Haiti. According to the UN, at least 1.4 million Haitians are in need of emergency relief. After just over a week, the announcement will be held on November 20.


The UN recognizes the role of the cholera epidemic

August 18th

In a statement by the Secretary-General’s Office, the UN for the first time acknowledged that the World Organization had played a role in the outbreak of cholera, which is now estimated to have required 10,000 Haitians. with the infection. Researchers have shown that they drain toilet waste in the river Meille, which is an important water source. The UN is still claiming diplomatic immunity against claims for compensation to the victims, supported by US courts. But the day after the recognition, a spokesman for the secretary general still said that those affected should receive support.


The United States does not cover election costs

July 7

The message from the US Department of Foreign Affairs is interpreted as a result of the dissatisfaction that the electoral council annulled the first round of elections. The EU has also criticized the decision to cancel the election result. The government is confident of finding the $ 55 million needed to conduct the election elsewhere.


Half of the candidates are running again

June 22

When the last day to register for the October elections has passed, the Election Council announces that 27 presidential candidates who participated in 2015 are candidates again. Among them are both Jovenel Moïse and Jude Celestin.

The temporary presidential mandate expires

June 14

Acting President Jocelerme Privert ‘s term expires after four months. As no presidential election has been held, Privert remains, despite protests from several quarters.

Election results are deleted, new presidential election is planned

6th June

The disputed result of the first round of presidential elections in October 2015 is invalidated on the recommendation of the commission commissioned to verify the result. A new first round of elections is planned on October 9, with the second round on January 8, 2017.


Armed attack raises concerns

May 20

Media reports about 50 military-clad men who attacked a police station in the city of Les Cayes and stole unknown quantities of weapons. Five people, including a police officer, must have been killed. Former rebel leader Guy Philippe, now a candidate for the Senate, is accused of being behind the attack. Philippe who led the rebellion against Aristide in 2004 (see Modern History) denies the charges. As late as March, however, he threatened a new civil war if the elections were not held as was said in April. It is now clear that the election will be held earlier this fall.

Physical strike strikes hard at care

A two-month strike has basically abandoned the country’s five public hospitals. Doctors strike in protest against poor conditions with dangerous working conditions and screaming lack of material. Constant interruptions make the situation worse. Doctors are also demanding that wages be increased as, despite inflation, they have remained silent for 25 years. A doctor who has just completed his studies earns less than half the minimum wage.


EU aid pledge

April 30th

Haiti receives about € 38 million in cash, due to the drought and the crisis caused by the Dominican Republic’s decision to expel a lot of people of Haitian origin (see June 2015). About 87,0000 people have been expelled from the neighboring country. Many of them live in camps under difficult conditions. At the same time, the drought has led to around 3.6 million Haitians being reported to have insecure access to food. The EU is also allocating EUR 17 million for projects to help Haiti deal with climate change.

Protests against deferred elections

April 21

Privert says the second round of presidential elections will be held no earlier than mid-May. The reason is that electoral preparations extend over time. The decision to postpone the election triggers large popular protests.


New government takes office

March 28

One week after Privert presented his next election as head of government, he and his government are approved by both chambers of parliament. The new Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles is a lawyer and a university teacher. His government consists of 15 ministers.

Parliament fails the government

March 20

Parliament does not support the government presented by Privert in early March. It was thought by Prime Minister Fritz-Alphonse Jean who thus cannot form government.


Prime Minister appointed

February 26th

President Privert appoints former governor Fritz-Alphonse Jean via decree as new head of government.

Parliament appoints interim president

February 14th

After a marathon debate that lasts all night, Senate President Jocelerme Privert is appointed acting president. Privert, who belongs to the party Inite Patriots, wins the vote over two former presidents.

The carnival celebration is canceled

February 7

Authorities are blown by the annual three-day celebration of violence concerns due to the tense political situation.

Agreement on temporary solution and elections in April

6th of February

When barely a day remains of Martelli’s term, political leaders, in collaboration with the OAS, enter into an agreement to form an interim government that will take over until the second round of presidential elections, now scheduled for April 24. The president who is then elected is scheduled to take office on May 14. An interim president is to be elected by Parliament for so long. The next day Martelly gives his farewell speech in Parliament.


The chairman of the electoral council resigns

January 28

Pierre-Louis Opont’s resignation means that a total of five of the nine members of the electoral authority have now resigned, which means the council is not functioning. In a letter, Opont explains that he was prevented from doing his job, for reasons beyond his own control.

The second round of elections is postponed

January 22

The electoral council refers to safety concerns when the message is given, two days before the due date. No new election date is specified. The day before, Martelly has said the election would be held and that only a small group of individuals are trying to sabotage the democratic process.

Opposition supporters protest

January 18

Around 2,000 opposition supporters are demonstrating in Port-au-Prince demanding that the election be changed from the start. They accuse Martelly of cheating. Protests also occur elsewhere in the country. Celestin reiterates the threat of withdrawal and says that the choice is “a father’s”. He accuses the electoral authorities of favoring the government’s candidate, Moïse.

Parliament takes office

January 11

The newly elected MPs swear office, and thus the country gets a functioning parliament again (see January 2015). However, it is not complete; for about a fifth of the seats in both chambers, a second round of elections is required to be held at the same time as the presidential election. Of the 92 seats in the Chamber of Deputies that are ready, PHTK has 26 and its allies 16 (KID 7, AAA 6 and Bouclier 3). In the opposition, Vérité has 13 and its allies 7 (Inite Patriyotics 4 and Lapeh 3). Of the 24 completed seats in the Senate, PHTK with allies 6 and Vérité with allies have at least 5.

Celeste threatens to jump off

7 th of January

Jude Celestin says he does not intend to participate unless the recommendations of a commission that fully investigated the election are implemented. The Commission appointed by Martelly in December has recently reported that the election was characterized by irregularities, but still recommended that it be finalized. Celestin has previously demanded that the Commission be set up. The recommendations include proposals to use indelible ink on thumbs to prevent voters from voting multiple times, as well as banning private homes as polling stations. The Commission has also established that 60% of election workers do not do their job properly. The outside world has, on the whole, expressed its support for a continued electoral process.

New election dates are specified

January 6

A presidential decree states that the second round of elections in the presidential election, as well as the supplementary parliamentary elections, will be held on January 24. A few days earlier, the president said the election would be held on January 17.

Haiti Religion