World News: Haitian Religious Leaders targeted by frightened believers


In Haiti, Voodoo is a constitutionally protected religion practiced by about half of the population; roughly the same percentage of the population can read. Many citizens lack the degree of education needed to understand the spread of cholera. By contrast, local beliefs about the powers wielded by Voodoo priests are strong and pervasive. As a result, Voodoo priests are becoming scapegoats for the epidemic, because many citizens believe they are using their powers of Witchcraft to spread the disease.

The local police have been unwilling or unable to stop the lynchings, and the Minister of Communications has called for the  implementation of widespread public health education about the spread of cholera, which she believes will bring these killings to an end.

According to the CIA world fact book, the life expectancy for Haitians is about 30 years.

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