Haiti is the western third of the island of Hispaniola, population 9 million, bordering the Dominican Republic. The capital city is Port-au-Prince (1.7 million). As for language, French is the official tongue, spoken by one in ten Haitians. Haitian Creole, which is based on French, is the language of the people.
As for politics, to quote the succinct summary of Operation World, 'A slave revolt against the French in 1804 created the first black republic in the world. A troubled history of bloodshed and dictatorships since then. The deposing of the Duvaliers in 1986 ended a particularly brutal dictatorship. A success of coups and military governments aborted all attempts at introducing democracy. The coup in 1991, in response to increasing anarchy, led to the US intervention in 1994 to re-introduce democratic government. Since then the whole democratic process has been discredited by multiple delays in calling elections, and a rigged election when it finally took place in 2000.' Since 2008, the the nation has staggered under such blows as food riots, government instability and a series of hurricanes that killed hundreds (New York Times).
Besides the desperate need for political stability, there are many, many prayer needs! Unemployment is over 50%. Next, functional literacy is only around 20%. Third, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, 75% of Haitians living in deep poverty. Annual per capita income is only around US$300. In addition, and these are all contributing factors to Haiti's poverty, there are erosion, famine, overpopulation, weak government, etc.
Haiti is a Catholic nation, and yet 75% of Haitians are involved in Voodoo. (Voodoo has its roots in West African witchcraft and animism.)
In January 2010 a devastating earthquake struck Haiti's capital that killed an estimated 222,000 people and left 1.5 million others homeless. I have just returned from Haiti, and was able to deliver supplies, help in a dental clinic, and (of course) teach.
Please pray for authentic Christianity to take root in this most impoverished of nations. Thank you.
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