RELIGION IN HAITIHaiti, for much of its history and including present-day has been prevailingly a Christian country, primarily Roman Catholicism, although in some instances it is profoundly modified and influenced through syncretism. A common syncretic religion is Vodou, which combined the West African religions of the African slaves with Catholicism and some Native American strands; it shows similarities to Cuban Santería.
The largest Christian denomination in the country is Roman Catholicism, which is estimated to be about 80 percent of the population according to the 2015 CIA World Factbook. The historical background is very much due to the French influence brought about through the newly conquered territories.
Since 2001, other studies suggest that the Protestant population had grown to perhaps one-third of the population in 2001.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Cap-Haïtien
The predominant denomination is Roman Catholicism. Similar to the rest of Latin America, Haiti was colonized by Roman Catholic European powers such as the Spanish and the French. Following in this legacy, Catholicism was in the Haitian constitution as its official state religion until 1987. Between 80 and 85% of Haitians are Catholics. Pope John Paul II visited Haiti in 1983. In a speech in the capital of Port-au-Prince, he criticized the government of Jean-Claude Duvalier. It is believed that the impact of this speech on the Catholic bureaucracy in Haiti contributed to his removal in 1986.
According to the Catholic Church in Haiti, the 10 dioceses of the 2 ecclesiastical provinces of Haiti include 251 parishes and about 1,500 Christian rural communities. The local clergy has 400 diocesan priests and 300 seminarians. There are also 1,300 religious missionary priests belonging to more than 70 religious order and fraternities. Vocations to the priesthood are plentiful.
The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is the Anglican Communion diocese consisting of the entire territory of Haiti. It is part of Province 2 of the Episcopal Church (United States). Its cathedral, Holy Trinity (French: Cathédrale Sainte Trinité) located in the corner of Avenue Mgr. Guilloux and Rue Pavée in downtown Port-au-Prince, has been destroyed six times, including in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church (United States), with 83,698 members reported in 2008.
However the most common syncretic religion in Haiti is Vodou. Its known worldwide as a specific haitian religion.
According to the CIA World factbook, about 50% of the population practices Vodou. This figure is, however, contested. Note that this overlaps the practice of other religions, particularly Roman Catholicism. Haitian Protestants are less likely to practice Vodou, as their churches strongly denounce it as diabolical.
A group of people during a Vodou ritual.